More than 100,000 Americans are in the hospital with COVID-19, a number not seen since the start of the pandemic, as the nation continues to grapple with a major surge in new coronavirus infections.

Data from the COVID Tracking Project show 100,226 people were hospitalized on Wednesday with the disease caused by the coronavirus — a figure that has been steadily rising for weeks.

The number of hospitalizations far outpaces peaks in mid-April and July of about 59,000 patients being treated for COVID-19. Early last month, the number of hospitalizations again reached that mark and has been on a steady upward progression ever since. More than 273,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 since the first cases were detected in January.

News of the record-breaking statistic comes the same day the U.K. announced a major step in its race to develop coronavirus immunizations, formally approving Pfizer and the German company BioNTech's vaccine for emergency use.

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