The Centers for Disease Control has issued new coronavirus guidelines, including requesting “universal face mask use” by Americans, as the US again set a record for the highest daily number of coronavirus deaths.
On Thursday, 2,879 people died from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, while there were 217,664 new cases, which is also a record.
In another grim marker for the US, the number of people admitted to hospital with Covid exceeded 100,000 for the second day in a row, as the top infectious disease official, Dr Anthony Fauci, warned: “January is going to be terrible.”
Amid the spiraling cases, the CDC issued fresh public health guidance on Friday, in a weekly report that recommends public health strategies.
The CDC, which has previously made similar guidelines to the public, recommended that state or local level agencies should “issue policies or directives mandating universal use of face masks in indoor (non-household) settings”, stronger advice than previously issued.
The CDC also recommended people avoid “non-essential indoor spaces” and postpone travel.
Numerous states have warned that they are running out of intensive care beds, with 100,667 people currently in hospital with Covid.
The escalating figures came as California plans to implement a sweeping stay-at-home order in a desperate attempt to get coronavirus infections under control, and after Joe Biden said he would ask all Americans to wear face masks during his first 100 days in office.