Omicron pushes US Covid hospitals to record high

Covid-19 hospitalizations in the US are set to reach a new high, a . According to Reuters Calculation, fueling a rise in the highly contagious Omicron variant infections, surpassing the record set in January last year.

Hospitalizations have risen steadily since late December as Omicron overtook Delta as the leading coronavirus variant in the US, although experts say Omicron will likely prove less deadly than prior iterations.

While potentially less serious, health officials have warned that the sheer number of infections caused by Omicron could overwhelm hospital systems, some of which have already shown signs of distress, partly due to staffing shortages. Cause.

Reading: Omicron – Collecting Clouds

“I can’t believe we’ve seen a peak yet here in the US,” said Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). said NBC News‘Today’ events on Friday, as schools and businesses also struggle with rising caseloads.

The US reported 662,000 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the fourth-highest daily US total coming just three days after a record nearly one million cases Reported, According to Reuters matching

The seven-day average for new cases set a record for the 10th day in a row at 597,000, while Covid-19 hospitalizations jumped to nearly 123,000 and headed to top the record of over 132,000 set last year .

Deaths, an indicator that lag behind hospitalizations, are still stagnant at a day high of 1,400, well below last year’s record numbers.

cautiously optimistic

New York Governor Cathy Hochul and the head of one of the largest US hospitals both said they were cautiously optimistic that the state would soon see more cases and hospitalizations.

“We think with our modeling that the peak will be next week,” said New York-Presbyterian Hospital chief executive Steven Corwin during Hochul’s daily briefing.

Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont and Washington, DC, all reported record levels of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in recent days. Reuters Analysis.

The hospitalization figures, however, do not differentiate between people admitted for COVID-19 and so-called accidental positivity. Those patients who were admitted and treated for issues other than Covid-19 and contracted the virus while in hospital and coronavirus count in hospitalization numbers.

Accidental infections have occurred during the pandemic, but may be much higher now because of the staggering speed of the spread of Omicron – a phenomenon that has prompted state health departments to consider changing their disclosures.

State Department of Health spokeswoman Kathleen Conti said from next week Massachusetts hospitals will report whether admissions are primary or incidental to COVID-19.

Rising cases have forced hospital systems in nearly half of US states to postpone elective surgery.

Reading: WHO warns of Covid ‘tsunami’ as Omicron variant fuels record surges

While many school systems have vowed to continue instruction in person, some have faced ad-hoc shutdowns as cases escalated.

Chicago Public School, the third largest US school system, was closed for a third day on Friday as a teacher walkout over COVID-19 safety took place.

US and other officials have said schools can be opened safely, especially with widely available vaccines and boosters, and the CDC issued new isolation policy guidelines for schools on Thursday.

Officials continue to regard vaccination as the best protection against serious disease, although federal mandates that require it have become politically controversial.

The US Supreme Court on Friday called on Republican state officials and business groups to block President Joe Biden’s vaccine-or-testing mandate for big businesses and to justify the policy at a time of a surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide. put pressure on the administration.

The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday shortened the interval between the primary series of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose for people 18 or older from six months to five.

The regulatory decision comes days after the agency made similar moves to get booster shots of Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines. Pfizer Booster is also authorized for use in children 12 to 15 years of age.