Record number of Americans are now hospitalised with Covid

The number of daily hospitalisations has surpassed the previous record from January 2021

Tom Fenton
Tuesday 11 January 2022 16:38 GMT
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A surge in new cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant saw US hospitalisations hit a new record high this week, according to a new tally

According to Reuters , 132,646 people were hospitalised on Monday with Covid-19, a figure which surpasses the previous record of 132,051, that was set almost exactly a year ago.

Numbers have steadily been on the rise since late December, as Omicron rapidly began to dethrone Delta as the dominant virus strain in the United States.

New data from the US Department of Health and Human Services, published by the New York Times, also suggested the seven-day average of daily hospitalisations has ballooned by 83 per cent compared to just two weeks prior.

The Omicron variant threatens to overwhelm a number of states which were already at breaking point. Some hospitals, for instance, have begun to suspend elective procedures as they struggle to process new surges of patients amid ongoing staff shortages.

According to Dr Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, hospitalisation numbers are currently the best metric for measuring the severity of the pandemic - as they are not heavily influenced by testing availability.

Virus Outbreak
Virus Outbreak (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

He told ABC News last week, that it was “much more relevant to focus on the hospitalisations”, which lag behind cases.

The Department of Health and Human Services observes that around a quarter of US hospitals are experiencing critical staff shortages, with some states, such as Oregon, turning to the National Guard for assistance.

After nearly two years of the pandemic, “even the most dedicated [medical practitioners] are going to be tired and worn out, if not burned out and dealing with mental health issues as a consequence,” Dr Mahshid Abir, an emergency physician at the University of Michigan, told the New York Times.

According to Reuters, Washington DC, is now leading the country in new infections over the past week based on population, followed by Rhode Island and New York.

It said the daily death rate is up to around 1,700, which is an increase from 1,400 at the end of last week. So far in 2022, only seven states have not set records for new Covid-19 cases - Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wyoming.

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