Health experts warned Americans Thursday that a rising tide of COVID19 cases, led by the Omicron variant, threatened major disruptions to their lives, from schools to shopping, and urged them to prepare now for a challenging month. .
The United States had a record seven-day average of new cases, with more than 290,000 new infections reported daily, a Reuters tally showed.
According to the registry, at least 18 states and Puerto Rico have set pandemic records for new cases. Maryland, Ohio and Washington, DC also posted record hospital admissions, as U.COVID hospital admissions increased 27%.
The increase is due to an increase in vacation travel as New Years celebrations are yet to come and schools grapple with students returning to classrooms after winter break.
“We will see the number of cases in this country increase so drastically that it will be difficult for us to carry on with everyday life,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, told MSNBC.
“Next month will be a viral snowstorm,” he said. “It is putting pressure on society as a whole. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases official, said Wednesday that cases are likely to increase by the end.”
“He and other US health officials said early data shows Omicron appears less severe, but they have continued to push for vaccines, masks and physical distance.
Services, schools and shops among others in the coming weeks. “We have to be very careful not to underestimate Omicron too much,” Dr. Peter Hoetz, an infectious disease expert at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN.
It is also concerning that healthcare workers are being marginalized with their own COVID cases, as well as less effective therapies, Hoetz said.
“We’re in a pretty serious time. As of early 2020, 825,663 people in the United States have died of COVID, the data showed, with the latest wave of hospital admissions for the unvaccinated underway.
“President Joe Biden announced new news this month. He plans to tackle the wave driven by Omicron, including federal reinforcements for hospitals and more tests, but some experts say it is too little, too late.”
So far, however, the economy appears to be stable, even if some economists are warned. While air traffic was largely disrupted and stores closed and events canceled in some troubled areas, other measures such as Christmas sales were maintained.
The labor market is holding up, too: New claims for state unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in the era of the pandemic, the Labor Ministry announced on Thursday. small businesses, said it expected the first week of January to be slower than Omicron’s forecast.
“The rest of January will probably depend on state and community health policies and epidemiological data,” Greenberg told Reuters. Keys, especially for working parents, with systems in Washington and New York promising to stay open with more testing.
Education Minister Miguel Cardona admitted that the problem was staffing, but urged schools to take steps to keep children in classrooms. Unlike last year’s closings, “we now have better tools. They need to stay open, ”he told MSNBC, adding that federal funds continue to be available to increase staffing and testing levels.
Meanwhile, some universities have postponed their next semesters or connected to the Internet. “We have light at the end of the tunnel,” Osterholm said. “But now you have to duck.