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The U.S. now reports the highest 7-day average daily number of COVID-19 cases that have been reported since the outbreak, surpassing January’s record.
On Tuesday on Tuesday, the U.S. average rose above 265,000 new cases per day, according the most recent information from Johns Hopkins University. The previous record was 252,000 daily cases on Jan. 11.
Health officials from the public sector estimate that the case numbers will continue to increase sharply due to the highly infectious Omicron variant.
“January will be a really, really hard month. It is important to prepare themselves for a month in which many people are likely to get infected,” Ashish Jha, MD, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN.
Most people who are vaccination-free and received a booster shot won’t have a severe illness, but public health experts are concerned about people who haven’t been vaccinated He said.
Jha stated that many people who haven’t received vaccinations will be extremely sick and this can be very disruptive. “My hopes are that as we enter February, and definitely by the time we get into March, infection numbers will drop significantly and also it will start getting into spring and the weather will begin improving. And that will be beneficial.”
According to the most recent data from Department of Health and Human Services hospitalizations are increasing with more than 84,000 patients with COVID-19 in hospitals across the nation. Around 70,000 people were admitted to hospitals this week for COVID-19.
CNN reported that the rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in pediatric patients is increasing, and is close to the record set in September. A number of states reported an increase in pediatric admissions of around 50 percent in December. New York City saw an almost fivefold increase in pediatric admissions in the space of three weeks.
“We’ve just seen all of these kids mixing together with everybody else during Christmas,” Claudia Hoyen, MD, director of the pediatric infection control at UH Rainbow Children’s and Babies Hospital in Ohio said to CNN.
“We have one more holiday to go through with New Year’s, and then we’ll send everyone back to school,” she said. “Everybody is kinda waiting in the sand in anticipation of what we’ll end up seeing.”
So far, preliminary evidence suggests that the Omicron variant causes milder illness in children, especially when compared with the Delta variant as reported to The New York Times. The rise in hospitalizations for children may be due to the huge number of children getting infected with the Omicron and Delta variants, as well as lower rates of vaccination for children who are older than 5.
According to the most recent report of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 199,000 COVID-19 cases were identified in children during the week ending on the 23rd of December. This was an increase of 50% from the beginning of December. About 1 in 10 American children have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, the group declared.
Last week, an average of 1,200 children were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 each day, a rise from 800 daily pediatric admissions at the end of November. The Times was told by hospital administrators and critical care physicians that almost all the children they saw with COVID-19 this past month had one thing in common they were either unvaccinated or undervaccinated.
“What we’re seeing in our ICU is clear that vaccinations are the most crucial option to take to safeguard your child from getting sick with the virus,” James Schneider, MD of Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York City told the newspaper.
As of Dec. 22, more than 6 million U.S. children ages 5-11 had received at least one vaccination dose, representing 22 percent of the group, according to the most recent information from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Around 15 million children aged 12-17 have received at a minimum one dose, representing 62 percent of the age group.
Johns Hopkins University: “Track the COVID-19 Trends across America”
CNN: “The U.S. just reached a record-setting average of daily new Covid-19 case.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Hospital Utilization: HHS Protect Inpatient Bed Dashboard.”
The New York Times: “Omicron is Not More Serious for Children, Despite the Increasing Rate of Hospitalizations.”
American Academy of Pediatrics: “Children and COVID-19 State-Level Data Report” “Children and COVID-19 Vaccination Trends.”
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