More than 193,000 new infections were recorded in the US on Friday - breaking the previous record for the largest single-day spike on Thursday - and over 82,000 patients are now hospitalized across the country.
Daily deaths also skyrocketed to 2,015, the highest number of fatalities per day since May during the initial peak of the virus, according to health data from Johns Hopkins University.
The alarming surge shows the nation is facing a second wave of the coronavirus this winter that could be more dangerous and widespread than the initial outbreak earlier this year.
'When you look at what's happening now, the rate of rise is dramatically different,' White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, Dr Deborah Birx told CNN. 'This is faster. It's broader. And what worries me, it could be longer.'
It has also sparked fears among health experts that Thanksgiving travel and holiday gatherings next week will only fuel the spread of the virus and prolong the length of the pandemic.
With the holidays around the corner, Dr Birx said Americans should help mitigate the spread of infection by limiting their Thanksgiving gatherings to immediate family members, rather than a maximum number of people.
The CDC on Thursday also recommended people avoid traveling during the holiday and advised against gathering with anyone who has not lived in the same household for at least 14 days, the incubation period for the virus.
Despite experts' warnings, millions of Americans are going forward with their travel plans, with photos showing large crowds at airports across the country with little social distancing practices observed ahead of the holiday weekend.
One described the scene 'about as crowded as it was before COVID hit.'
'This is just jam-packed,' said passenger Ed Westerfield, who shared footage of travelers boarding a flight to Puerto Vallarta. Some passengers told KTVK they weren't even aware of the travel advice from the CDC, while others said they still planned to travel nonetheless.
Curt Vurpillat, who was flying to Chicago, said the recommendation amid the surge of cases didn't 'trouble him at all.'
'Not that I don't think it's real, but I have a life to live and things to do, so we take necessary precautions,' he told the news station.
It comes ahead of the annual Thanksgiving rush on the day before the holiday which is typically the busiest travel day of the year in the United States.
Amid the bleak new statistics, Pfizer said Friday it is asking US regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, setting in motion a process that could make the first, limited shots available as early as next month, with health care workers and other high-risk groups likely to get priority.