According to Reuters, the United States recorded 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, the largest daily total for any country in the world, as the spread of the highly dangerous omicron strain showed no signs of stopping.
On January 3, the previous record was 1.03 million instances. Because many states do not report over the weekend, a substantial number of instances are reported on Monday. In two weeks, the seven-day average for new cases increased to approximately 700,000 new infections every day.
According to a Reuters calculation, the nation’s number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also reached an all-time high on the same day, having doubled in three weeks.
More than 136,604 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, breaking the previous high of 132,051 established in January of last year.
While the omicron form may be less severe, health experts have cautioned that the sheer number of infections might overburden hospital systems, some of which have already postponed elective surgeries in order to deal with the increased patient load and personnel shortages.
The increase in instances has caused havoc at schools, which are dealing with workers, teachers, and bus drivers being absent.
Chicago postponed school for a fourth day due to a stalemate between the district and teachers over how to cope with a surge of illnesses.
According to its Twitter account, New York City halted service on three subway lines due to a significant number of personnel being absent due to illness. Companies’ intentions for employees to return to work have also been thwarted.
Deaths are averaging over 1,700 per day, up from around 1,400 in recent days but still within the range recorded earlier this winter.
Pfizer Inc’s CEO said on Monday that a new COVID-19 vaccination that precisely targets the omicron form is likely needed, and that his firm might have one ready to sell by March.