(NEXSTAR) – The U.S. smashed yet another COVID-19 record Wednesday, recording more than 100,000 hospitalized patients for the first time ever.
The COVID Tracking Project data showed 100,226 people hospitalized because of the virus as of Wednesday evening. Nearly 20,000 of them were in the ICU and 6,855 were on a ventilator.
U.S. hospitals slammed with COVID-19 patients are trying to lure nurses and doctors out of retirement, recruiting students and new graduates who have yet to earn their licenses and offering eye-popping salaries in a desperate bid to ease staffing shortages.
California officials recently announced that the state could run out of ICU beds by Christmas, and Gov. Gavin Newsom warned residents that “drastic” measures may become necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
The grim hospitalization milestone comes on the same day that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to stay home during the holidays this year amid a tide of new cases across the country. Those who decide to travel despite the CDC’s warning are encouraged to get a test before and after the trip.
“The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel,” Henry Walke, who serves as the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said Wednesday. “Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing, deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase.”
The U.S. has recorded more than 264,500 COVID-19 deaths and 13,711,150 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.