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US Sets Global Record of 1 Million New Reported Daily COVID Cases

US Sets Global Record of 1 Million New Reported Daily COVID Cases

As the highly transmissible Omicron variant wreaks havoc in the United States, more than 1.08 million people across the country tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, setting a global daily record, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Medical experts are sounding the alarm that this wave could be particularly harmful to children, as pediatric admissions of patients with Covid-19 reach record highs.

Although evidence suggests Omicron is generally milder and less lethal than other strains, the volume of new cases has been followed by an increase in hospitalizations, threatening to once again overwhelm beleaguered hospitals.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

“This narrative that it’s just a mild virus is not accurate,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.

Monday’s number of new cases was almost double the previous record of about 590,000, set four days before. “We’ve just done a terrible job vaccinating our kids across the country,” Dr. Hotez says.” So even though there’s a lot of happy talk about the Omicron variant, less severe disease, when you add up all the factors … we’ve got a very serious situation facing us in this country, especially for the kids.”

Amid the deepening crisis, schools, and businesses are facing difficult decisions. Classrooms in cities including Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Atlanta are closing as infections soar, opting for virtual learning or delaying students’ return.

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Omicron has also created chaos in the economy. Thousands of flights have been canceled or delayed amid staffing shortages, many Broadway shows have had to cancel performances after positive tests, and hospitals and emergency response departments including police have been left understaffed as workers call out sick.

Some companies hoping to return to the office in 2022 watched the first Monday of the year come and go as they instructed employees to work from home for at least another few weeks. Others are keeping their doors open by reducing quarantine periods for workers, according to new and controversial guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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