The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US has jumped nearly 50% in the last two weeks, forcing states to impose new restrictions to curb the alarming viral spread as Americans face a potentially grim winter and holiday season. Nearly 79,000 people were being treated for the disease in hospitals across the country on Thursday, a Reuters tally showed, the most at any time during the pandemic. The country has been recording 161,607 new cases daily on a 7-day rolling average as of Wednesday.