The United States set a global record of almost 1 million new coronavirus infections reported on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, nearly double the country’s peak of 505 109 hit just a week ago as the highly contagious Omicron variant shows no sign of slowing.
The number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients has risen nearly 50% in the last week and now exceeds 100000, a Reuters analysis showed, the first time that threshold has been reached since the winter surge a year ago.
Overall, the United States has seen a daily average of 486 000 cases over the last week, a rate that has doubled in seven days and far outstrips that of any other country.
The 978 856 new infections on Monday includes some cases from Saturday and Sunday when many states do not report.
The average number of US deaths per day has remained fairly steady throughout December and into early January at about 1 300, according to a Reuters tally, though deaths typically lag behind cases and hospitalisations.
Omicron appears to be far more easily transmitted than previous iterations of the virus. The variant was estimated to account for 95.4% of the coronavirus cases identified in the United States as of January 1, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.