Jan. 11, 2022 -- The U.S. reported 1.35 million new COVID-19 cases on Monday, logging the highest daily total for any country in the world during the pandemic.
The U.S. set the previous record of 1 million cases on Jan. 3. (A large number of cases are reported on Mondays, since many states don’t provide updates over the weekend, according to Reuters.)
Still, the 7-day average for new cases has surpassed 700,000, tripling in 2 weeks as the contagious Omicron variant continues to spread across the country.
The daily record of new cases came a day after the U.S. crossed the grim milestone of 60 million COVID-19 cases during the pandemic, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 11 million new cases were reported in the past 28 days, with 5 million reported since Jan. 2.
Globally, more than 310 million cases have been reported, resulting in nearly 5.5 million COVID-19 deaths. Almost 40 million cases have been confirmed worldwide during the past month, with the U.S. accounting for 28% of those.
Texas became the second state to report more than 5 million cases since the pandemic began, behind California’s total of 6 million cases. Florida has reported more than 4.6 million, while New York has reported more than 4.1 million.
The U.S. has also hit an all-time high for hospitalizations, with nearly 146,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the country, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The previous record was 142,000 hospitalizations in January 2021.
Tuesday’s hospitalizations are more than twice as many as 2 weeks ago, according to CNN. About 78% of inpatient beds are in use nationwide, and 21% are being used for COVID-19 patients.
Deaths are averaging about 1,700 per day, Reuters reported, which is up from 1,400 in recent days but not much higher than earlier this winter. The peak average was 3,400 daily deaths in mid-January 2021.
The surging numbers of cases and hospitalizations across the country are straining hospitals. On Monday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency after the number of intensive care unit hospitalizations more than doubled since Dec. 1, CNN reported. The order allows hospitals to expand bed capacity, use telehealth options, and be more flexible with staffing.
Texas is hiring at least 2,700 medical staff to help with the surge, CNN reported, and Kentucky has mobilized the National Guard to provide support.
“Omicron continues to burn through the commonwealth, growing at levels we have never seen before. Omicron is significantly more contagious than even the Delta variant,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said during a news briefing Monday.
Kentucky reported its highest weekly total of cases last week and has its highest rate of positive tests, at 26%. Beshear said the state is down to 134 available adult ICU beds.
“If it spreads at the rate we are seeing, it is certainly going to fill up our hospitals,” he said.