The United States has just experienced its worst day for COVID-19 infections.
On Friday, NBC News reported that Thursday broke a record for most coronavirus cases in a single day.
Per its count, the news organization says that by Thursday at midnight, there were 77,640 reported new coronavirus cases with 921 reported deaths.
The previous record was set July 29, when a reported 75,723 people contracted the virus.
NBC News says the new increase in cases has been driven by surges in Midwestern states such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota.
Per The New York Times, North Dakota has the most cases of coronavirus per capita in the country. The newspaper adds that the state reported more than 1,000 cases on Tuesday, the state’s worst daily total yet.
“The American public is understandably frustrated, and asking how long this pandemic will continue, how many more will become infected, and how many more will die,” Dr. Thomas Kenyon, chief medical officer at the international health care organization Project HOPE, said in an email to NBC News.
“It is not too late for us to change the course of the pandemic,” Kenyon continued. “Simple things will make a huge difference — wear a mask, keep your distance from others, avoid crowded situations, wash your hands, seek testing if you are sick or think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.”
On Friday, October 23, at 2:45 p.m. EST, The New York Times reported that more than 8,498,200 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 223,400 have died.
Despite this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it has approved its first-ever treatment for COVID-19.
Per a press release, the organization signed off on antiviral drug Veklury, commonly known as remdesivir, to be used for hospitalized coronavirus patients, including adults and children who are 12 or older and weigh at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds).
“Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care. Veklury is the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive FDA approval,” the statement read.
“This approval does not include the entire population that had been authorized to use Veklury under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) originally issued on May 1, 2020,” it added, noting that the FDA revised guidelines for Veklury’s use on hospitalized pediatric patients who either weigh 3.5 kg to less than 40 kg, or are younger than 12 years old and who weigh at least 3.5 kg.