U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 900000, driven in part by Omicron surge

The coronavirus pandemic reached a grim new milestone in the United States on Friday with the nation’s cumulative death toll from COVID-19 surpassing 900,000, even as the daily number of lives lost has begun to level off, according to data collected by Reuters.

The latest tally marks an increase of more than 100,000 U.S. COVID-19 fatalities since Dec. 12, coinciding with a surge of infections and hospitalizations driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus.

Preliminary evidence has shown that Omicron, while far more infectious, generally causes less severe illness than earlier iterations of the virus, such as Delta. But the sheer volume of Omicron cases fueled a surge in hospitalizations that has strained many U.S. healthcare systems to their limits in recent weeks.

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