The US is now averaging 100,000 new Covid-19 infections a day, returning to a milestone last seen during the winter surge in yet another bleak reminder of how quickly the Delta variant has spread through the country.
America was averaging about 11,000 cases a day in late June. Now the average is 107,143 and yesterday's figures were even bleaker reaching 168,000.
It took the US about nine months to cross the 100,000 average case number in November before peaking at about 250,000 in early January. Cases bottomed out in June but took about six weeks to go back above 100,000, despite a vaccine that has been given to more than 70 per cent of the adult population.
The virus is spreading quickly through unvaccinated populations, especially in the American South where hospitals have been overrun with patients.
Health officials are fearful that cases will continue to soar if more Americans don't embrace the vaccine.
"Our models show that if we don't [vaccinate people], we could be up to several hundred thousand cases a day, similar to our surge in early January," Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said on CNN this week.
The number of Americans hospitalised with the virus has also skyrocketed and it has gotten so bad that many hospitals are scrambling to find beds for patients in far-off locations.
Houston officials say the latest wave of Covid-19 cases is pushing the local healthcare system to nearly "a breaking point", resulting in some patients having to be transferred out of the city to get medical care, including one who had to be taken to North Dakota.
Dr David Persse, who is health authority for the Houston Health Department and EMS medical director, said some ambulances were waiting hours to offload patients at Houston area hospitals because no beds were available. Persse said he feared this would lead to prolonged response times to emergency medical calls.
"The healthcare system right now is nearly at a breaking point ... For the next three weeks or so, I see no relief on what's happening in emergency departments," Persse said Thursday.
Last weekend, a patient in Houston had to be transferred 270km away to North Dakota to get medical care.
In Missouri, 30 ambulances and more than 60 medical personnel will be stationed across the state to help transport Covid-19 patients to other regions if nearby hospitals are too full to admit them, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced Friday.