The United States on Monday reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters survey, the highest daily total for any country in the world, as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of abating.
The previous record was 1.03 million cases on January 3rd. A large number of cases are reported every Monday due to the fact that many states did not report over the weekend. The average of seven days for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day.
The record in new cases came the same day the nation saw the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also hit a record high, after doubling in three weeks, according to a Reuters survey.
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There were more than 136,604 people hospitalized with COVID-19, which exceeded the record of 132,051 set in January last year.
While the Omicron variant is potentially less serious, health officials have warned that the large number of infections could strain hospital systems, some of which have already suspended elective procedures.
as they struggle to cope with the increase in patients and staff shortages.
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The rise in cases has disrupted schools struggling with the absence of staff, teachers and bus drivers.
Chicago canceled classes for a fourth day as the district and teachers did not agree on how to deal with increased infections.
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New York City suspended service on three subway lines as a large number of workers were on sick leave, according to their Twitter account. Companies’ plans for workers to return to the office have also been derailed.
Deaths average 1,700 a day, up from about 1,400 in recent days, but within levels seen earlier this winter.
A redesigned COVID-19 vaccine specifically targeting the Omicron variant is likely needed, Pfizer Incs chief executive said Monday, adding that his company could have one ready for launch in March.
(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker in Chicago, Aparupa Mazumder and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Himani Sarkar)
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