COVID-19 deaths pass 2,400 for 3rd day; ICU capacity to dictate California stay-at-home orders — 6 updates

The U.S. reported 2,706 new COVID-19 deaths Dec. 3, marking the third consecutive day with more than 2,400 deaths, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The U.S. also saw a record 210,161 new cases Dec. 3. In the past week, the nation has recorded an average of 180,327 cases daily, up 8 percent from the average seen two weeks prior, reports The New York Times.

Five more updates:

1. President-elect Joe Biden plans to ask Americans to wear a mask for his first 100 days in office, according to CNN. In a Dec. 3 interview with the news network, President-elect Biden said he believes the action would lead to a "significant reduction" in new cases. The president-elect also said he asked Anthony Fauci, MD, to serve as his chief medical adviser and join his COVID-19 response team. Dr. Fauci will also keep his current role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

2. This fall's COVID-19 surge was preceded by a major drop in the general public's compliance with social distancing recommendations, according to a study from The COVID States Project. Researchers found the number of Americans who self-reported being in a room with people from outside their household jumped from 26 percent in April to 45 percent in October, according to The Washington Post. 

3. COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next month, with about 9,500 to 19,500 deaths likely occurring the week of Christmas, according to a forecast the CDC published Dec. 3. The prediction is based on forecasts of national COVID-19 deaths over the next four weeks from 37 modeling groups.

4. Several U.S. communities have rolled out at-home COVID-19 test kits for residents in recent weeks, reports The New York Times. The tests, which require Americans to spit into a test tube and mail the sample to a lab, could help the nation better detect and slow the virus's spread, health officials told the Times.

5. California will issue regional stay-at-home orders based on local hospitals' intensive care unit capacity, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Dec. 3. The order takes effect Dec. 5 and will affect areas where hospitals have less than 15 percent of ICU beds open. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 14,149,834

Deaths: 276,406

Recovered: 5,404,018

Counts reflect data available as of 8:45 a.m. CST Dec. 4.

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