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Hospitalizations Increase as U.S. COVID Cases Hit New High

Hospitalizations Increase as U.S. COVID Cases Hit New High

A new Reuters report has tallied the average number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, which hit a record high of 258,312 over the past seven days as U.S. officials are weighing the severe impact of the more transmissible Omicron variant.

The previous peak for the seven-day moving average was 250,141 confirmed cases recorded on January 8th of this year. Daily records were broken this week in at least seven European nations.

The surge comes as Americans travel over the holidays. Hundreds of flights have been canceled across the country each day since Christmas as airline staff test positive for the coronavirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was monitoring 86 cruise ships that have reported COVID-19 cases. While some data from other countries showed less disease with Omicron, it was too early to gauge the impact across the United States, particularly given its uneven vaccination rates, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday.

More than 76,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 nationwide, up 19% in the past 10 days, according to a Reuters tally. States showing the highest daily infection numbers on Tuesday included New York, which reported 40,780 cases, and California, which reported over 30,000. Texas reported more than 17,000 cases and Ohio over 15,000. The Omicron variant was estimated to account for 58.6% of U.S. infections as of Dec. 25, according to CDC data released on Tuesday.

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But there is some hope on the horizon for a nation weary from nearly two years of living under COVID: the top U.S. infectious disease adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Wednesday that the surge in the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the United States is likely to peak by the end of January. “I would imagine given the size of our country, and the diversity of vaccination versus no vaccination, that it’s likely to be more than a couple of weeks, probably by the end of January,” he said on CNBC.

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