The rampant spread of COVID-19 (the omicron variant, in particular) continues its crushing wave of infections across the U.S.
Chantal Da Silva and Joe Murphy of NBC News reported on Jan. 10 that more new cases of COVID-19 infections were reported in the country than at any other time since the pandemic began in 2020.
“At least 1,343,167 new COVID infections were identified Monday, according to the [NBC News] tally, beating the previous record of 1,044,970 cases, set on Jan. 3, by nearly 300,000,” Da Silva and Murphy reported.
According to Da Silva and Murphy, daily case counts run higher on Mondays because some states do not report the numbers over the weekend, but “the number still suggests a dramatic rise in cases in the U.S. as the highly transmissible omicron variant continues to spread.”
In addition to Monday’s reported infection total being the highest ever in U.S. history, it is also the highest daily total ever reported in any country, with more than 61,490,917 cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S. over the past two years.
“The seven-day average for cases in the U.S. also reached its highest point yet Monday, hitting an average of 740,594 cases per day, with 24 states reporting their highest seven-day average ever,” Da Silva and Murphy added.
Hospitalizations in the country have also continued to soar over the last two weeks, increasing more than 83% to 135,574 on Monday.
The surge in hospitalization remains highest in several Midwestern and mid-Atlantic states where vaccination rates are low. Health officials also said Washington, D.C., New Jersey, New York and Ohio have also seen dramatic spikes in hospitalization.
“Southern states have seen the largest shift in hospitalizations over the past two weeks, with the seven-day averages for hospitalizations in Louisiana up 341%, from 340 to 1,501 over the past two weeks,” Da Silva and Murphy reported. “Florida has seen its average soar by 277%, from 2,426 to 9,169.”
In an unexpected development, a growing number of individuals admitted to the hospital for other ailments are also testing positive for COVID-19. Health officials say this suggests “more people are having asymptomatic or undiagnosed cases than the current data shows.”
And unfortunately, the wave of new infections likely won’t be subsiding anytime soon. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned that due to the incredibly infectious nature of the omicron variant, infections across the nation — and the globe — will continue to “increase rapidly.”
In fact, the BBC and the World Health Organization have warned that in Europe, even with vaccinations, more than half the population will likely catch the omicron variant of COVID-19 within the next six to eight weeks.