• The U.S. reported more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time on Wednesday, surpassing the previous record of just over 99,000 set on Oct. 30, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The 102,800 reported cases pushed the country’s seven-day average of daily new cases to a record of almost 90,000. Hospitalizations for coronavirus are also surging, hitting 52,000 Wednesday, the highest number since Aug. 6 when the country was saw a massive surge in cases across the Sun Belt. The rising number of hospitalizations is a clear sign that the increasing number of positive cases is not simply due to an increase in the number of tests conducted but instead represents a climbing number of infections leading more people to develop cases of Covid-19 severe enough to require intense treatment. More than 1,000 people died from Covid-19 Wednesday, bringing to the total number of deaths reported deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. to 234,000.
• In the latest week, 751,000 Americans filed for initial jobless claims, according to data released by the Labor Department. That’s effectively steady since last week and a total of about 7.3 million people continue to receive benefits, down slightly from the previous week. While these numbers suggest some stabilization in the labor market as Covid-19 cases surge, they also indicate that layoffs remain at a historically elevated level that continues to top the highest count of 665,000 initial claims seen during the Great Recession. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said that the Senate will begin work on a new stimulus bill next week.
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