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Covid updates: UK strain confirmed in more states; U.S. hospitalizations top 132,000

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Daily new Covid cases in the U.S., as a seven-day average, are back at record levels as of Wednesday after a holiday season marked by higher travel demand, lower hospital capacity and interruptions in the data reporting. The country recorded 253,145 new infections on Wednesday for a seven-day average of 222,653 daily new cases. Health experts continue to warn about heightened transmission of the virus, particularly in light of two new strains out of the U.K. and South Africa that have proven to spread more easily. Experts consistently warn higher transmission will further drain health networks and lead to more deaths.

Here are some of the biggest developments Thursday:

The U.S. is recording at least 222,600 new Covid-19 cases and at least 2,680 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average calculated by CNBC using Johns Hopkins University data.

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 87.65 million
  • Global deaths: At least 1.89 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 21.41 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 362,983