US COVID-19 cases pass summer peak

The nation's seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has surpassed figures seen during this summer's delta surge.

The seven-day case average was 186,228 as of Dec. 19, up from 171,121 on Sept. 10, according to data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University. Cases hit an all-time high in early January 2021, when the nation was reporting more than 250,000 infections a day. 

Omicron is spreading faster than any COVID-19 variant and has quickly become the nation's most dominant strain, accounting for 73.2 percent of new infections in the U.S. for the week ending Dec. 18. On Dec. 11, omicron accounted for just 13 percent of new cases nationwide. 

"And in some areas of the country, omicron has increased even further, accounting for an estimated 90 percent of cases in the Eastern Atlantic states, parts of the Midwest, South and Northern Pacific states," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said during a Dec. 22 White House briefing.

Nationwide, hospitalizations have increased 11 percent in the last two weeks, according to data tracked by The New York Times.


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