The US now has an average of 700,000 new cases of coronavirus per day, an analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
In the week ending Saturday, the country reported about 4.91 million cases. More cases were reported in seven days than the country reported in April, May, June and July 2021. At the latest pace, eight Americans report positive every second.
The last five days of US cases are the five single-highest counts of the entire epidemic.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we get over a million cases a day,” Fauci said in an interview with News4 New York on Saturday.
And while the prevailing Omicron mutation is mild on a per-case basis, the fast-swelling numbers of new cases are becoming a burden for hospitals. A federal report released Saturday shows about 138,000 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds, up 32% from the previous week.
But President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Fauci, told the TV station that by the end of the month, disappointing numbers could begin to decline.
“I can’t exactly predict, because nobody can. But by the time we get to the fourth week in January … I think we’re starting to see it decrease,” Fauci said.
– Mike Stucca
Also in the News:
ಾಯ್ಸ್ Illinois Governor Pritzker has agreed to provide 350,000 coronavirus tests to Chicago public schools because the district is struggling to return its 350,000 students to classrooms. The school was closed on Wednesday with no further learning after teachers voted to teach only online. Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said Monday that schools would not reopen Monday unless an agreement was reached.
In the week ending Saturday, the world reported 15.9 million new cases, or 26.2 cases per second. The pace of new cases is 64% higher than the previous week.
ಗಿ North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools shut down school bus service to its eight high schools on Monday because it has “worsened with increasing COVID-19 cases of severe bus drivers.”
Today’s numbers: According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, the US recorded more than 59 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 837,000 deaths. Global total: More than 305.3 million cases and 5.48 million deaths. According to the CDC, 207 million Americans – 62.4% – are fully vaccinated.
What are we reading: What about us? The 16 million Americans who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are “questioning our defense” against COVID-19 – but awaiting a third shot. Read the full story.
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2 years later, the latest surge is derailing basic services
Omicron-fueled coronavirus infections slamming the US are causing a breakdown in basic functions and services. Many police, fire and emergency medical services, hospitals, schools and government agencies have used the all-hand-deck approach. But it’s not clear how long this will last. And many businesses are struggling, too. This is the latest illustration of how the COVID-19 epidemic has been prolonging life for more than two years.
“It really reminds everyone of when COVID-19 appeared and there were such major disruptions in every part of our normal lives,” said Tom Cotter, director of emergency response and preparedness at Project Hope, a global health nonprofit. “And the unfortunate reality is that until we get our vaccination numbers – globally – there is no way to predict what will happen next.”
The COVID testing crisis in the US means shortages, scandals, limited access
America is again facing a COVID-19 test crisis because many people are struggling to find home kits, scammers are benefiting from fake rapid tests, and some areas are restricting who can access community testing sites.
The Indiana State and Local Health Department is limiting who is eligible for rapid testing at testing sites. San Diego health officials are urging residents to get tested only if they have symptoms. Some New York City test sites prefer to inspect teachers to keep schools open. And San Francisco prefers to test people with COVID symptoms rather than asymptomatic people.
Adding to the difficulties of testing, the Federal Trade Commission warned Americans this week about fake home test kits “as opportunistic scammers take advantage of increased demand.”
Royal Caribbean has paused some shipping operations amid the COVID surge
Royal Caribbean International is halting operations on several ships due to COVID-19, canceling some sailings and pushing back a cruise ship. Although most of the cruises have not yet been canceled, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against cruise travel in the coming weeks. Royal Caribbean news comes as the Ruby Princess Cruise ship – the same vessel that hosted a devastating coronavirus outbreak in 2020 – has reportedly allowed a dozen infected passengers to land in San Francisco.
From November 30 to December 14, cruise ships operating in US waters reported 162 COVID-19 cases to the CDC. From Dec. 15 to Dec. 29, cruise ships sailing in US waters reported 5,013 COVID-19 cases to the CDC.
Contribution: Associated Press