The daily number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is surging to nearly 1 million despite the Biden administration’s vaccination push as the Omicron variant keeps spreading in the country.
A total of 978,856 new cases was reported in the U.S. on Monday Jan. 3, according to Reuters data, nearly doubling the peak hit a week earlier.
Last week, the U.S. recorded a daily average of 486,000 COVID-19 cases, which pushed the hospitalizations by nearly 50% to now 100,000 patients, the threshold that has not been seen since the winter surge a year ago.
The average number of deaths remains at about 1,300 a day, which has been steady throughout December and into early January. However, the death numbers are lagging behind cases and hospitalizations.
Since December, the fast-spreading of the highly contagious Omicron variant has led to a renewed spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations nationwide though President Joe Biden has ramped up his vaccination programs and vaccine mandates.
The Omicron variant is estimated to account for 95.4% of the coronavirus cases identified in the United States as of Jan. 1, Reuters reported, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Reuters data shows that the Biden administration has administered 73.3% of the U.S. population with at least one vaccine shot by the end of 2021.
On Tuesday, the White House said that it is finalizing contracts for 500 million rapid COVID-19 tests it plans to distribute for free to Americans to help alleviate a testing crunch that has led to inadequate supplies in many places.
The Biden administration also doubled its order of Pfizer’s antiviral pills to a total of 20 million treatment courses.
The administration’s health officials have insisted that COVID-19 vaccines and boosters remain the best way to avoid serious illness.