The United States hit the 1 million new Covid-19 cases this week, underlining the threat that the omicron variant poses as the pandemic enters its 3rd year. The Omicron variant is always in the news now, and for good reason. According to the latest figures, the omicron variant now accounts for 95% of all Covid cases in the United States.
Florida, Washington, and D.C have seen the largest jumps in new cases in the last two weeks. Covid cases have increased in the Washington area by 902% during that time, and cases in Florida increased by 744%.
These record, single-day, Covid infection totals could be due to delayed reporting. Many States did not announce their figures on New Year’s Eve and the holiday weekend.
Estimates released by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly suggest that the omicron variant now accounts for around 95% of all United States test samples that were analyzed last week. This is from modeled projections, but these projections could be different from later estimates.
Highly transmissible, as the omicron variant is described in the news
A warning from the director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that the delta and omicron variants of covid were fueling an alarming trend.
As more labs sequenced Omicron cases in recent weeks, CDC officials have said the agency is working to refine its projections of the variant’s growth. As well as from commercial and public health laboratories, as well as from its contractors, the CDC collects data to track variants across the country and to produce its “Nowcast” estimates.
“I am highly concerned that omicron, being highly transmissible and spreading at the same time as delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases,”
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking at a Geneva news conference
However, even as United States infection case counts rose in recent weeks, reported deaths did not appear to be surging. This would suggest that the omicron variant results in more mild symptoms – something that has been observed elsewhere. These milder outcomes seem to be more prevalent in people that have been vaccinated.
“The general trend that I’m seeing is, if you’re boosted and you get Covid, you really just at worst end up with bad cold symptoms. It’s not like before, where you were coughing, couldn’t say sentences, and were short of breath, There are obviously exceptions — like if you start out with a very weakened immune system, your immune response won’t be as strong with a booster. But in your average person, a booster’s definitely going to make a difference”
- Dr. Matthew Bai, an emergency medicine physician at Mount Sinai Queens in New York City
The average rate of daily hospitalizations in the United States on Monday, 3rd of January, was 93,281. This is an increase of 35% in the previous two weeks. At this rate, the omicron variant will be in the news for some time yet.
Separately, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a 30-day state of emergency on Tuesday in an effort to combat an influx of cases of Covid, mobilizing 1,000 Maryland National Guard personnel to assist state and local health officials.
Omicron variant news from around the world
According to the World Health Organization, Covid-19 cases increased sharply from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2 compared with the week before, in its weekly epidemiological update published on Thursday.
Global Covid-19 cases “increased sharply by 71%,” from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2 compared with the week before, the World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological update published on Thursday. The sharp increase follows gradual increases since October
Over 9.5 million new cases were reported, according to WHO, with increases in all regions.
This is what the data shows:
With a 100% increase, the Americas region was the most affected. The report revealed a 78% increase in the Southeast Asian region, a 65% increase in the European region, a 40% increase in the Eastern Mediterranean region, a 38% boost in the Western Pacific region, and a 7% increase in the African region.
There were the most new cases in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Italy.