The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new pandemic recommendations, including the "universal use" of face coverings after the United States again registered a new record for the highest number of COVID-19 mortalities in a single day.

Other crisis measures which include social distancing, avoiding non-essential or congested indoor spaces, and more testing and contact tracing are also part of the strategy outlined in the guidance, which warns that the U.S. has entered "a phase of high-level transmission."

Based on Johns Hopkins University data, 2,880 people have died from the pandemic as of Thursday, while 217,665 new infections were reported, also a record. The number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus surpassed 100,000 for a second straight day, as top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that next month would be "terrible."

This is the first time that the CDC has strongly recommended the universal wearing of masks. For months it has pushed for the serious practice of mask-wearing. In July, it released a document touting their effectiveness in populated settings to minimize disease transmission.

The U.S. has over 14 million cases of COVID-19 and over 270,000 deaths, based on the latest CDC figures. Several states are going back into lockdown in the face of a looming surge in infections and hospitalizations.

Many states have warned that they're running out of ICU beds, with 100,668 patients currently in hospital with coronavirus. The CDC now predicts that the U.S. could hit the 320,000 death mark by Christmas.

The CDC said face coverings are important because about half of coronavirus spread comes from those who don't show symptoms. The report said that colder weather, more time spent indoors, the U.S. holiday season, and the silent spread of the virus are all factors that cause the disease's explosion across the U.S.

Meanwhile, as one of his first acts as commander in chief, President-elect Joe Biden has said he will ask Americans to wear a mask every day for 100 days.

The CDC has recently revised its quarantining recommendation, reducing the minimum time from 14 days to 10 days without symptoms and one week with no symptoms and a negative test result, CBS News reported.

Stephen Hahn, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told Reuters that immunizing 20 million Americans before the new year was realistic. The FDA is set to conduct a public consultation as it weighs down whether to authorize a vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech to be used.