U.S. sets global record with over 1 million new COVID cases
As the Omicron variant rages on, the country saw its previous single-day record more than double.
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Many countries are seeing a current surge of COVID infections thanks to the Omicron variant, and the United States is seeing the brunt of that surge.
On Monday, Jan. 3, the U.S. tallied a record 1,082,549 COVID-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
This marks the highest one-day tally of new cases anywhere in the world, the latest COVID-related record the U.S. has broken in recent days.
Monday’s tally is more than double the number of daily new cases — more than 480,000 — reported during the peak of the delta surge.
In addition, the milestone is also more than twice the case count seen anywhere else in the world in the nearly two years since the pandemic.
According to Bloomberg, the highest single-day number for reported cases outside the U.S. came during India’s delta surge, when more than 414,000 people tested positive in the southeast Asian country on May 7, 2021.
The surging cases have had many effects, from canceled flights to schools switching to virtual learning, from overwhelming hospitals nationwide, to the recommendation of booster shots and the FDA approval of a new anti-COVID pill, and more.
All of this has happened amid the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortening the isolation and quarantine period in half for asymptomatic people who test positive for COVID.
With the number of positive cases continuing its increase, hospitalizations in the U.S. are also seeing numbers that are approaching the peak.
Nearly 113,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID, with 26% of ICU beds being occupied by COVID patients.
This is the third time since the start of the pandemic that hospitalizations in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 — the first was in January 2021, and the second was during the summer when the delta variant burst onto the scene.
While the surging number of positive cases and hospitalizations are alarming and remain a cause for concern, the number of deaths has not soared to such heights.
As the U.S. and the world braces to battle the third year of the pandemic, only time will tell if the omicron variant, which is responsible for about 95% of cases, is less severe as it is currently being reported to be. If so, it could be a long way toward becoming endemic.