Omicron is causing record hospitalizations among the young and elderly

The US continues to smash pandemic records as Omicron infection rates soar across the country. The seven-day average for COVID cases on January 9 was 677,243—almost triple that of the previous high of 250,512 on January 12, 2021. That peak came soon after the Delta variant was discovered, but months before it was widespread across the states. To date, the country has seen 60,164,525 cases and 836,236 deaths from the virus.

Last Monday, the John Hopkins University tracker posted a staggering single-day count of 1,082,549 COVID cases, mainly out of the Northeast. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chalked this up to delayed reports from New Year’s weekend—but the daily numbers remained above 700,000 for the rest of the week. Some infectious disease researchers think that the US hasn’t even hit “the maximal period” in hospitalizations and mortalities from Omicron.

As of January 1, Omicron was projected to account for 95.4 percent of cases in the states with Delta making up only 4.6 percent. While the CDC hasn’t refreshed those percentages yet, cities like Washington D.C. and Chicago as well as states like Texas and Colorado have shared more variant-specific data. The trends indicate that the nation’s death toll will see a sharp rise, particularly for unvaccinated people ages 65 and up.

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