U.S. breaks daily record with more than 187,000 new COVID-19 cases

U.S. sets daily record with over 187,000 new COVID-19 cases
U.S. sets daily record with over 187,000 new ... 04:00

The U.S. recorded 187,000 new virus cases on Thursday, hitting a new single-day record, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 2,000 Americans have been reported dead because of the coronavirus in just the past 24 hours, and 80,000 more are hospitalized. 

CBS News has learned teams of scientists are now poring through Pfizer's testing data in an around-the-clock effort to deliver a vaccine. Pfizer is hoping for approval from the Food and Drug Administration that could supply as many as 50 million doses by the end of the year. This, as the nation reels from another record-shattering spike in cases while people also scramble to get tested in time for the holidays.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to avoid Thanksgiving travel, but the guidance came too late for an estimated 50 million who've already made plans.

"You could potentially be infected immediately after you have that test and any time after that," said Dr. Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist with the UCLA School of Public Health.

When asked if it's safe for people to travel to see their families together for this holiday,  Rimoin replied, "There's no zero-risk scenario here."

In Southern California, nearly 10,000 people a day are going to Dodger Stadium, waiting in long lines to get tested. Many of them are planning on traveling for Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, a curfew goes into effect in Los Angeles at 10 p.m. on Friday. If coronavirus cases aren't contained, a full lockdown could be ordered by Sunday.

Another Thanksgiving reality is the growing number of those going hungry. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank said demand this year is up 145%. In Dallas on Friday, a line of people in their cars waiting to receive Thanksgiving turkeys stretched for miles.

El Paso County
Bodies wrapped in plastic line the walls inside a refrigerated trailer used as a mobile morgue in El Paso on November 13, 2020. JUSTIN HAMEL/AFP via Getty

There is a gruesome sign of the times in El Paso, Texas, where so many have died that the county is now posting job openings for morgue attendants.

In Oregon, mobile morgues are now in place along with new surge tents. In that state, they're setting daily records not just for COVID-19 cases but also for hospitalizations and deaths.

Hard-hit North Dakota is now getting 60 Air Force nurses to help relieve exhausted workers. The state now has 18.2 coronavirus deaths per million residents, one of the highest daily COVID-19 death tolls per capita — not just in the nation, but the world, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Theresa Weiler, the supervisor of a COVID-19 ward at Marshfield Medical Center in Wisconsin, described the unrelenting stress to CBS News.

"At the end of the day, I would go home and go straight to the shower," she said. "Part of this was to protect myself and my family, but the other part was so I could go cry in the shower and finally release for the day."

"Are we going to be able to keep up at this pace — or when will staff not have energy anymore?" Weiler asked.

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    Jonathan Vigliotti is a CBS News foreign correspondent based in London.