Reposted from CNBC
The U.S. has reported a record single-day number of daily Covid cases, with more than 1 million new infections.
A total of 1,082,549 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as the highly infectious omicron variant continues to spread throughout the country.
The new daily tally brings the total number of cases confirmed in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic to 56,189,547. In total, the virus has caused at least 827,748 deaths across the country.
The record single-day total may be due in part to delayed reporting from over the holiday weekend. A number of U.S. states did not report data on Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, and many do not report data on weekends, meaning that some of these cases could be from positive tests taken on prior days.
Nonetheless, as of Jan. 3, the seven-day average of daily new U.S. cases is 480,273, the highest such metric of new cases in any country tracked by Johns Hopkins.
About 98,000 Americans are hospitalized with Covid-19, according to a seven-day average of data from the Department of Health and Human Services as of Jan. 3, up 32% from a week ago. That figure is approaching peak delta wave levels when about 103,000 people were in hospital beds with Covid across the country in early September, but remains lower than last winter’s high mark of roughly 137,000 U.S. hospitalizations.
The U.S. is reporting an average of about 1,200 daily Covid deaths for the week ended Jan. 3, Johns Hopkins data shows, well below the record numbers seen following last year’s holiday season when the daily average held above 3,000 for about a month starting in January 2021. The death toll tends to lag rises in case counts and hospitalizations, however.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has seen the omicron variant starting to edge out the previously dominant delta strain of the virus.
The latest available weekly data from the U.S. CDC, ended on Dec. 25, estimates that the delta variant accounted for around 41% of cases while omicron made up around 58.6% of U.S. infections.
U.S. health officials have urged Americans to get vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus given concerns over the new variant.
Early studies suggested that Covid vaccines are less effective against the omicron variant compared with the delta strain and other variants. But the same studies have indicated that three vaccine doses — the two preliminary shots plus a booster — significantly increase the level of protection against omicron.
Research has also suggested that the omicron variant causes less severe infections.
The rise of the variant led to thousands of flight cancellations during the holiday season and has caused some businesses and schools to consider temporary closures. Several major Wall Street banks have asked employees to work from home for the first few weeks of January.
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