Public health officials in the United States announced more than 152,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the first day over 150,000 since the pandemic began — an alarming record that came just over a week after the country first experienced 100,000 cases in a single day.
The pandemic has risen to crisis levels in much of the nation, especially the Midwest, as hospital executives warn of dwindling bed space and as coroners deploy mobile morgues. More than 100,000 coronavirus cases have been announced nationwide every day since Nov. 4, and six of the last nine days have broken the previous record.
Hospitalizations for Covid-19 also set a record on Thursday, climbing to 67,096, according to the Covid Tracking Project. It was the third straight day of record numbers, and the figure has doubled in just five weeks.
Deaths are rising, too, with more than 1,000 on average each day.
In Illinois, where more than 75,000 cases have emerged in the last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker suggested that he could soon impose a stay-at-home order.
“We’re running out of time and we’re running out of options,” said Mr. Pritzker, who scolded local officials in parts of his state for disregarding mask rules and restrictions on businesses.
Case numbers are trending upward in 46 states and holding relatively steady in four. No state is seeing cases decline. Thirty-one states — from Alaska and Idaho in the West to Connecticut and New Hampshire in the East — added more cases in the seven-day period ending Wednesday than in any previous week of the pandemic. Vermont, Utah and Oregon were among at least 10 states with single-day case records on Thursday.
But the outlook is especially dire in the Great Lakes region. Pennsylvania, Indiana and Minnesota all exceeded their previous single-day records on Thursday by more than 1,000 cases. Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio warned that hospitalizations had soared to record levels. Wisconsin surpassed 300,000 known cases this week, an increase of more than 130,000 in just a month.
“Covid-19 is everywhere in our state: It is bad everywhere, and it is getting worse everywhere,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago announced new restrictions on gatherings on Thursday, limiting them to 10 people whether inside or outside, and issued a non-binding “stay-at-home advisory.” City leaders warned that, without immediate action, Chicago hospitals could soon be overwhelmed.
But patience with coronavirus restrictions has already worn thin in parts of Illinois, where a patchwork of rules and uneven enforcement has frustrated some business owners and politicians.
Mayor Richard C. Irvin of Aurora, the state’s second-largest city, this week questioned whether there was public buy-in for additional restrictions.
“I would say morale is extremely low,” said Mr. Irvin, who has urged residents to take the virus seriously. “I think people — many people, I wouldn’t say all — are to the point where they don’t necessarily care anymore.”