Thursday was the darkest day of the coronavirus pandemic for the United States — at least so far.
The U.S. reported a record number of coronavirus cases and deaths with 217,664 cases and 2,879 virus-related deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
The country broke the record for the daily death toll for a second straight day, following the 2,804 reported Wednesday. The previous high for daily cases of 205,557 was set just a week ago on Nov. 27.
Though government-approved vaccines are imminent, health officials warn that things will likely worsen before improving in the coming weeks and months, as case surges continue over the holidays and authorities attempt to convince wary citizens to get vaccinated.
As of Friday, the U.S. has roughly 14.1 million coronavirus cases and 276,000 related deaths, both tops globally, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.