Just one day after the United States reported its highest average daily COVID-19 cases, the country broke that record again on Thursday, with an average of 355,990 new infections a day in the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
But as the latest wave sweeps across the U.S., driving cases and hospitalizations to unprecedented levels and once again disrupting the daily lives of many Americans, experts warn that we are still weeks away from a potential tipping point.
“Given the size of our country and the diversity between vaccinated and unvaccinated, it will likely be a couple of weeks (until COVID-19 cases peak),” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the principal The country’s infectious disease expert told CNBC this week. “It will probably (arrive) at the end of January.”
About 62% of the country is fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and only about 33.4% of fully vaccinated adults have also received their booster shots. – an injection that experts say is now critical to help further protect against serious diseases of the dangerous circulating variants.
The omicron variant – the most contagious strain of the virus so far – is spreading like wildfire around the world, with several European countries having the highest number of cases in history.
Record of covid-19 in several states of the United States
In the US, several states are recording their highest numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and some governors have turned to the National Guard for help.
New York State reported Thursday it had more than 74,000 new cases, according to the governor’s office, breaking the record for single-day infections, while hospitalizations increased nearly 20% since Monday.
“Get vaccinated, get boosted, put on masks and avoid large public gatherings indoors as much as possible,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday that his state also set a record for cases, with more than 4,970 residents testing positive in one day. Maryland, which reported more than 10,870 new cases on Wednesday, broke a state record that had been set just days earlier and also reported its highest rate of covid-19 hospitalization this week.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine this week announced the deployment of 1,250 members of the state’s National Guard on the same day the state reported its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp also announced the deployment of 200 soldiers in the same week that six major health systems across the state announced they had seen a 100% to 200% increase in hospitalizations.
And things will only get worse before they get better, said one expert.
“We know that in the next five to six weeks we are going to continue to see this virus spread across the country, like a viral storm,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Policy and Research at the University of Minnesota. “With that, we are going to see a perfect storm in our healthcare settings.”
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