Health officials predict 90,000 more COVID-19 deaths in the next 3 weeks

California has surpassed 2 million COVID-19 infections and health care workers in Los Angeles said they are overwhelmed and terrified about what’s ahead.
3:09 | 12/25/20

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Transcript for Health officials predict 90,000 more COVID-19 deaths in the next 3 weeks
pandemic. Yesterday, more than two Americans tested positive every second. And more than 328,000 lives have been lost. That's two American deaths reported every minute. Nearly 120,000 covid patients are hospitalized this Christmas eve and tonight, the CDC out with a new projection of the toll we could see after the holidays. ABC's Kaylee Hartung is in hard-hit California. Reporter: Tonig the coronavirus spreads unchecked, that devastating new prediction. A staggering 90,000 more Americans could die in the next three weeks. This is what it looks like on the front with a record 119,000 people fighting to stay alive in the hospital. Doctors and nurses at Providence holy cross in Los Angeles working to save lives on Christmas eve, unable to be with their families. Ning in the Thanksgiving surge and terrified of what's Every day, I see, I look into the eyes of someone who is struggling to breathe, who's struggling to, youknow, get well, they want to be home with their family. Reporter: California surpassing 2 million infections. More than most countries. This emergency is our darkest day, maybe the darkest day in our city's history. Reporter: And now growing alarm over those new variants of the virus spreading in the uk and South Africa. Scientists carefully studying them, saying they're more infections and could be already in the U.S. These variants are going to lead to more people getting infected. More people getting hospitalized. Unfortunately, more people dying. Reporter: Late today, New Jersey announcing all passengers flying from the uk must prove they've tested negative, just a day after New York City threatened to fine incoming travelers from the uk $1,000 if they don't quarantine. This, as the virus is surging again in the sunbelt months after the summer wave, according to a new white house report. Joe Bruno lost both his parents to covid earlier this month. He has this heartbreaking message for the holidays. Cancel your flights cancel your plans, stay home. It hurts so bad and if I could go back in time I would do things differently. Reporter: But back in California, stories of triumph. Icu nurse Merlin pambuan fought the virus for eight months. Now finally going home just in time for the holiday. Don't lose hope. Just fight. Fight. Because look at me. You know, I'm going home and I'm walking. We do love to see those stories. Kaylee Hartung joining us from a hospital in Santa Monica. And Kaylee, this current surge in California, if it continues here, health officials already making painful decisions. Reporter: Yeah, whit. Hospitals just like this one will be completely overwhelmed if this surge continues, and one doctor here just telling me, they are already rationing here. Officials warn that in as little as two weeks, doctors could be making even more dramatic decisions about who lives and who dies. Whit? All right, Kaylee, our thanks to you tonight.

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

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