Coronavirus cases surge as health officials warn of months ahead

Hospitalizations are up in 41 states, including Texas where El Paso County health officials reported cases have risen 500% in just two weeks.
2:54 | 10/20/20

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Transcript for Coronavirus cases surge as health officials warn of months ahead
As Wisconsin faces that dangerous surge, 16 states saw new records in just the last week and hospitalizations are now up in 41 states including Texas. Our chief national correspondent Matt Gutman is at a hospital in El Paso. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Hey, good morning, pretty much every metric we've been following is headed in the wrong direction but here in el Paso where officials say that covid is spreading uncontrollably, one statistic stands out, a 500% increase in covid cases just over the past two weeks. This morning, that wave of covid patients is crashing over west Texas hospitals. Is it fair to say you're in the surge right now. Yes, we are in the surge and this is by far the highest number of patients that we've had since the pandemic began. Reporter: Inside the international at the university medical center in El Paso, the ceaseless work to save covid patients. Are you ready? Reporter: El Paso considered one of America's safest cities but it's a ground zero for the virus. So in the last two weeks we have seen a very sharp increase in positive cases to about 500% increase. Reporter: The city's mayor blaming young people. We've had some real excessive number growth that we attribute to the ages 20 to 39. Over 52% as of last Thursday. Reporter: Nationwide cases are rising an average of 15% each week and one in five U.S. Hospitals reporting more than 80% of their icu beds are filled. That's higher than at any previous point during the pandemic. Mississippi's governor reimposing mask mandates in nine counties after letting them lapse a few weeks ago. In Kansas ten patients dying in this nursing home after an outbreak spread to all 62 patients and staff members. And everywhere the human toll. Harrison Johnson was a beloved pastor and funeral home director. On Thursday he lost a four-month-long battle with covid dying of complications from the virus. I don't wish this on my worst enemy. Reporter: At the very end Johnson lost the ability to speak, but not the ability to communicate. He was mouthing that but he was saying I love you too, you know, and we were like, okay, we're just waiting for that next morning. Reporter: But for the big man with the even bigger smile, tomorrow never came. Such a loving father, now one out of every three patient, robin, at area hospitals is a covid patient and officials here are telling us that they are preparing for surge capacity. Officials nationwide said that the next several weeks are going to be absolutely critical. They are literally begging people to be extremely careful. Rob sdmrn we hope they will. Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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