US marks highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a 48-hour period

Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, are at capacity and the city is urging residents to stay home for two weeks to stop the spread of the virus as deaths climb in 27 states.
3:03 | 10/26/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for US marks highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a 48-hour period
But in the meantime, as we've been reporting, the coronavirus in this country, front and center in this election. The virus tonight pushing hospitals in some places in this country to the brink. The average of new cases now approaching 70,000 a day in the U.S., that's the highest yet. And this graph tonight showing cases over time. We're now at a third peak, moving even higher. Friday and Saturday set a record 48 hours. More than 165,000 new cases in those two days alone. This evening, more than 225,000 lives have lost. El Paso, Texas, with a record-breaking number of cases. Extra beds in tents outside university medical center. Utah fearing they could have to prioritize who gets care first. Police in Albuquerque cracking down on mask wearing and cases rise in New Mexico. And there is news tonight on the 18-year-old from Ohio, a college freshman among the latest to die because of the virus. Here's ABC's Marcus Moore tonight. Reporter: Tonight, fears of colder weather and more time indoors fueling the spread of the virus, now a reality. The country marking the highest number of new cases in a 48-hour period since the pandemic began. Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, are at capacity. Medical teams scrambling to airlift critically ill patients to nearby cities. And these surge tents put up to house the staggering influx of covid patients. How serious is this? So, we realize that this is this is something that we've not had to do before. Reporter: The cy urging residents to stay home for two weeks to stop the spread. By next Wednesday, we're going to need another 200-plus hospital rooms. Reporter: Utah hospitals warning they could soon be forced to ration icu beds and prioritize younger patients. I did not think we were ever going to get to a point where we were going to deny people care in the icu based on age or how sick they are. If that's starting to happen already and we have many, many weeks of this surge to go, I am starting to get concerned that we may get into trouble. Reporter: Hospitalizations hitting records in 16 states last week. Deaths now rising in 27. No corner of the country spared. Ohio saw a record number of cases over the weekend, but Ohio state football fans spotted crowding together without masks. What the ? Reporter: Some defiant. I don't wear masks. Reporter: Today officials begging the public to keep wearing masks, even when they're uncomfortable. You know what else is uncomfortable? Being intubated. Seeing a loved one on a ventilator. Reporter: Dr. Anthony Fauci saying maybe a national mandate is needed. If people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating. Reporter: And tonight in Illinois, they are mourning the loss of college freshman Michael Lang, who was taking classes remotely. The 18-year-old passing away after complications from the virus. David, there's news in the search for a vaccine. Astrazeneca is joining the list of other companies with vaccines, saying theirs may be asffective in elyly people as it is young adults. We'll have to wait and see how this pans out in the ongoing phase three trial, which that company is running right now. Marcus, thank you. Now, to the newt emergency unfolding in California at this

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

{"duration":"3:03","description":"Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, are at capacity and the city is urging residents to stay home for two weeks to stop the spread of the virus as deaths climb in 27 states.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/WNT","id":"73844605","title":"US marks highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a 48-hour period","url":"/WNT/video/us-marks-highest-number-covid-19-cases-48-73844605"}