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US reports highest single-day record for COVID-19 deaths

The U.S. on Wednesday also set new records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU patients as hospitals try to coax doctors and nurses out of retirement to help.

The U.S. reported more than 2,800 deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday,  the most for any one day in the pandemic. It comes as a record number of people are hospitalized or in intensive care.

Wednesday's death toll was 2,804, according to data by Johns Hopkins University, slightly higher than the previous record of 2,607 deaths recorded on April 15. Johns Hopkins initially reported there were more than 3,100 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, but revised that figure later Thursday morning. 

The U.S. also reported more than 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the second time in less than a week. The country is expected to pass 14 million total cases on Thursday. 

The COVID Tracking Project said Wednesday that 100,226 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the first time that number has passed 100,000. There is also a record number of people in hospital intensive care units (19,396) and the number on ventilators (6,855) is approaching the record set back during the initial surge in May.

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The Associated Press reports 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 effort to ease staffing shortages.

In a Nov. 29 update to states, the White House Coronavirus Task Force said Americans under 40 years old who saw people outside their household for Thanksgiving should assume they're infected and should isolate themselves. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already issuing guidance to Americans for the upcoming holidays, and the advice is clear: Stay home or get tested before and after traveling if they decide to leave town.

In a major milestone in the fight against coronavirus, Britain on Wednesday authorized the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, and could begin dispensing shots this week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could issue an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine around mid-December, with a critical meeting set for next Thursday. An advisory board told the CDC Tuesday that health workers and long-term care residents should be first to get a vaccine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Editor's note: Johns Hopkins University initially reported a record 3,157 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday before revising that total to 2,804.