Jan. 4, 2022 -- The U.S. blew through global records on Monday, reporting more than 1 million diagnosed COVID-19 cases as the Omicron variant continues to drive surges.
Monday’s unfortunate tally is almost double the previous domestic record of 590,000 set just 4 days ago, which doubled case numbers from the week before, according to Bloomberg News.
The number is also more than twice the case count reported by any other country at any time during the pandemic. The previous record was set by India, which reported more than 414,000 cases during a surge of the Delta variant in May 2021, the news outlet reported.
“We are definitely in the middle of a very severe surge and uptick in cases,” Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’sThis Week on Sunday.
“The acceleration of cases that we have seen is really unprecedented, gone well beyond anything we’ve seen before,” he said.
Nearly 1 in 100 Americans have become infected in just the past week, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. The numbers could represent an undercount since many people are taking at-home tests and not reporting the results to official sources. Monday’s total also likely indicates a backlog from New Year’s weekend, according to USA Today .
New infections reported globally are up 83% over the previous week, and more than 11 million cases are being logged each week worldwide, USA Today reported.
COVID-19 hospitalizations have surpassed 100,000 patients again, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 113,000 people are hospitalized across the country for the coronavirus, which marks an increase of 26% from the week before. About the same number of patients were hospitalized during the peak of the Delta variant, USA Today reported.
The Omicron variant appears to cause milder disease than earlier coronavirus variants, so a lower percentage of people may need to be hospitalized, USA Today reported. Still, the massive number of cases is leading to many hospitalizations overall.
And it’s not just among adults. Children are increasingly being hospitalized with COVID-19, according to NBC News. As of Sunday, the number of pediatric admissions hit a new peak of about 1,350 per day.
At least nine states and Washington, DC, have reported record numbers of coronavirus-related child hospitalizations, the news outlet reported. The states are Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Some of the children tested positive during routine screening while being hospitalized for unrelated issues, but many have been hospitalized specifically because of COVID-19 complications, the news outlet reported.
At Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, for instance, COVID-19 pediatric hospitalizations have surpassed the peak from the surge of the Delta variant. More than 90% of the cases are due to the Omicron variant, NBC News reported.
The sharp increase in hospitalizations follows a sharp rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases, according to the latest data from the American Academy of Pediatrics. More than 325,000 cases were reported during the week ending Dec. 30, the group said Monday, marking a 64% increase from the 199,000 cases reported the week before.
“I have never seen an infection sweep an entire country in a matter of a week or two,” David Kimberlin, MD, co-director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told NBC News.
“The rate of cases in my portion of Alabama is like a rocket ship,” he said. “It reflects how much virus is out there in the community. With that, we’re going to see increasing hospitalization numbers.”