CLOSE The CDC previously encouraged mask wearing to help prevent people from spreading COVID-19 to others. USA TODAYThe upward trajectory of coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued Wednesday with the country setting a new mark with more than 136,000 new infections, according to Johns Hopkins University data. That development came a day after the U.S. reached 1 million cases in November alone and COVID-19 hospitalizations surpassed 60,000 for the first time. Hospitalizations have more than doubled in less than two months, the COVID Tracking Project reported Wednesday. The number of Americans hospitalized due to COVID-19 has risen almost 50% in the last two weeks. On Wednesday, the U.S. surpassed 240,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus, the largest number in the world. The U.S. has 4.3% of the global population but 18.8% of the reported coronavirus deaths.Almost 62,000 Americans were hospitalized because of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The previous record for hospitalizations was 59,780 on April 12, after which the number began a gradual decline that reached 28,608 on Sept. 20. Since then, however, the number has been rising steadily.”Hospitals are facing severe constraints in the weeks ahead,” said North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, whose state is among the hardest hit. “We need everyone to help slow

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