U.S. reports over 1 million new daily Covid cases as omicron surges

US Army Critical Care Nurse, Captain Edward Rauch Jr. (L), turns a Covid-19 patient on a ventilator at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan on December, 17, 2021.

The U.S. reported a record number of new Covid cases on Monday, with over one million new infections.

A total of 1,082,549 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, as the highly infectious omicron variant continues to spread throughout the country.

The new daily tally brings the total number of cases confirmed in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic to 56,189,547. In total, the virus has caused 827,748 deaths across the country.

As on Jan. 3, the seven-day average of daily new U.S. cases is 480,273, meaning the U.S. has the highest 7-day average of new cases in the world, according to JHU’s rankings.

In recent weeks, the U.S. has seen the omicron variant starting to edge out the previously dominant delta strain of the virus.

The latest available weekly data from the U.S. CDC, ending on Dec.25, estimates that the delta variant accounted for around 41% of cases while omicron made up around 58.6% of U.S. infections.

U.S. health officials have urged Americans to get vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus given concerns over the new variant.

Early studies suggested that Covid vaccines are less effective against the omicron variant compared with the delta strain and other variants. But the same studies have indicated that three vaccine doses — the two preliminary shots plus a booster — significantly increase the level of protection against omicron.

Research has also suggested that the omicron variant causes less severe infections.

The rise of the variant led to thousands of flight cancellations during the holiday season and has led some businesses and schools to consider temporary closures. Several major Wall Street banks have asked employees to work from home for the first few weeks of January.

This is a developing story please check back for updates.