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The U.S. is experiencing yet another winter Covid surge, with the situation expected to only worsen over in the weeks following the Christmas and New Years holidays.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. is averaging 181,948 Covid cases every day, with that number set to increase in the coming days due to reporting lags during the holiday season. Nearly three out of every four cases, or 73 percent, are of the Omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

Deaths have slightly risen over the past two weeks, up three percent to 1,328 over the last 14 days, though not nearly at the rate of cases. This could signal that the new strain is more mild than many others – which many officials believe is the case – or it that a surge in deaths caused by the virus is right around the corner. 

New York is the hardest struck state by the new strain, with 167 out of every 100,000 residents testing positive for the virus every day, a 238 percent increase over the past two weeks. The Empire state has the highest infection rate in the U.S. 

Seven states, including New York, have more than 100 out of every 100,000 residents testing positive for Covid daily. These include New Jersey (158 out of every 100,000), Rhode Island (130), Delaware (106), Maryland (104), Massachusetts (104) and Ohio (104).

In the Empire State, the number of New Yorkers hospitalized with COVID ballooned over Christmas, with more than 5,500 people spending their holidays inside one of New York’s many hospital facilities – the largest increase since February. 

Around 17,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized during the peak of the first wave in spring 2020, with 7,000 receiving professional medical care as 2021 began. 

Hospitalizations among children, though, have also skyrocketed, more than doubling statewide since the beginning of the month and has jumping five-fold in New York City. Across the state, 70 children were hospitalized with COVID during the week of December 5 to 11, but so from December 19 to 23, that number jumped to 184. And in New York City, there were 22 children in the hospitals for COVID from December 5 to 11, but by December 19 to 23 there were 109 children hospitalized with the virus. 

Some of these states are experiencing intense case growth in recent weeks as well. In Maryland – which has begun reporting cases again after a technical glitch prevented the state from doing so in recent weeks – has seen cases increased by 370 percent. 

In New Jersey, the number of new daily cases have increased by 220 percent – over tripling over 14 days. The other states among the nation’s leaders in Covid case rate have all also seen infections jump by 50 percent or more over the past two weeks. 

Hawaii has suffered the largest growth in cases, jumping almost ten-fold over the past two weeks. The island state can usually control its Covid spread better than many others, as its distance from the rest of the country and geography as an island makes it easier to control travel in and out – and force quarantine restrictions.

This allowed Hawaii to keep cases low throughout much of fall, staying below ten cases per every 100,000 residents. Cases have skyrocketed in recent weeks, though, up to 96 out of every 100,000 residents testing positive every day. 

Florida, which sporadically reports cases, has logged a 818 percent increase in cases over the past two weeks – averaging 83 new cases a day out of every 100,000 residents. These numbers could be a result of delayed reporting, though, and could significantly shrink in the coming weeks.

Georgia is quickly joining the states facing the worst Covid surges in America as well, with cases increasing 300 percent to 55 out of every 100,000 per day over the past two weeks. 

States in the west that were previously recording little change in cases, if not outright declines, have seen cases jump as well.

California, the nation’s most populous state, has witnessed a doubling of cases over the past two weeks. Oregon, a 13 percent increase, and Washington, 54 percent, have jumped after experiencing case declines in recent weeks as well.

Other states suffering massive case increases include Texas (151 percent), Illinois (125 percent), Virginia (106 percent) and Mississippi (194 percent).

The national leaders in Covid deaths are all states where cases are declining. This signals that the virus may be burning out in the U.S. as well – as deaths usually lag behind cases by around two weeks.

In Alaska, 1.7 out of every 100,000 residents are dying of Covid every day, the highest rate in America. New daily cases have dropped by 27 percent over the past two weeks, though, meaning deaths could soon decline as well.

Michigan was overwhelmed by a surge of Covid patients only a few weeks ago. The state is still among the leaders in death rate – with it 1.27 deaths per every 100,000 residents being third in the country – though cases are down nine percent over the past two weeks.

Cases in New Mexico are down 13 percent over the past two weeks while the state records 1.27 deaths per every 100,000 residents. 

Many other states in the north and Midwest are recording declining cases as well, as the early fall surges called by cold weather are starting to recede.

Kansas leads the country in largest two week case decline, with infections dropping by 33 percent in 14 days. Minnesota comes in second, with cases down 30 percent during that time period.

Montana has the lowest rate of Covid infection in America, with 15 out of every 100,000 residents testing positive every day, a 25 percent decrease over two weeks. Nearby Wyoming and Idaho are also amount the states with the lowest Covid rates. 

Idaho is recording 19 cases per every 100,000 residents every day – down 17 percent over two weeks. In Wyoming, 19 out of every 100,000 people in the state are testing positive daily, a 27 percent drop.

Other states in the region recording sharp declines include Utah (down 20 percent over two weeks), North Dakota (19 percent), South Dakota (19 percent), Nebraska (12 percent), Oklahoma (24 percent), Missouri (15 percent) and Iowa (10 percent).

Vermont, one of the nation’s Covid hotspots in much of November and December, is finally in the blue as well, with cases dropping one percent over the past two weeks – signaling the surge might be over for the most vaccinated state in America. 

New York COVID hospitalizations top 5,500 for the first time since February, with child admissions rising FIVE-FOLD as Gov Kathy Hochul urges parents to vaccinate children between the ages of 5-11

The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with COVID ballooned over Christmas, with more than 5,500 people spending their holidays inside one of New York’s many hospital facilities – the largest increase since February.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday that statewide hospitalizations stand at 5,526 – the highest total since February 23 and nearly a 190 percent increase since November 1, according to NBC 4 New York.

‘You can see the hospitalizations are continuing to spike upward, [but] you can get some comfort in seeing that we’re not where we were in April 2020, we’re not where we were in January of 2021,’ she said. ‘But it is going upwards and that is something that we are very cognizant of and were anticipating and preparing for.’  

Around 17,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized during the peak of the first wave in spring 2020, with 7,000 receiving professional medical care as 2021 began.  

Hospitalizations among children, though, have also skyrocketed, more than doubling statewide since the beginning of the month and has jumping five-fold in New York City.

Across the state, 70 children were hospitalized with COVID during the week of December 5 to 11, but so from December 19 to 23, that number jumped to 184.

And in New York City, there were 22 children in the hospitals for COVID from December 5 to 11, but by December 19 to 23 there were 109 children hospitalized with the virus.

‘We are releasing this data because we want pediatricians to be alert to making the diagnosis of COVID in children,’ said Dr. Mary Bassett, the state’s acting health commissioner, adding that she wants parents to be aware that their children can catch the virus as well.

‘Many people thought – continue to think – that children don’t become infected with COVID. This is not true,’ she said. ‘Children become infected and some will be hospitalized.’

Bassett urged parents to get their children vaccinated, with CDC data showing that just 27.3 percent of five to 11 year olds in the state have received at least one dose, and only 16.4 percent are fully vaccinated. COVID is only fatal in extremely rare cases among under 18s, with fewer than 800 children in that age group being killed by the virus in the US since the start of the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, New York State saw 26,737 people test positive for the virus – though Hochul said on Monday she expects the number to rise up to 20,000 or more by the time Tuesday’s data comes in, as more people will get tested following the Christmas holiday.

The situation is more grim in New York City, which is seeing a 10.7 percent positivity rate with a 17,334 total cases reported over the past week. 

There were also 208 hospitalizations over the past week, according to New York City health data, and 10 deaths as the Omicron variant continues to spread. It now accounts for 73 percent of cases in the U.S. according to most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced that hospitalizations have increased over Christmas

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced that hospitalizations have increased over Christmas

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced that hospitalizations have increased over Christmas

As of Monday, there were 5,526 New Yorkers in the hospital - the first time the state has surpassed more than 5,500 hospitalizations since late February

As of Monday, there were 5,526 New Yorkers in the hospital - the first time the state has surpassed more than 5,500 hospitalizations since late February

As of Monday, there were 5,526 New Yorkers in the hospital – the first time the state has surpassed more than 5,500 hospitalizations since late February

Hospitalizations among children have more than doubled statewide and jumped five-fold in New York City

Hospitalizations among children have more than doubled statewide and jumped five-fold in New York City

Hospitalizations among children have more than doubled statewide and jumped five-fold in New York City

New York State saw 26,737 people test positive for the virus - though Hochul said on Monday she expects the number to rise up to 20,000 or more by the time Tuesday's data comes in, as more people will get tested following the Christmas holiday.

New York State saw 26,737 people test positive for the virus - though Hochul said on Monday she expects the number to rise up to 20,000 or more by the time Tuesday's data comes in, as more people will get tested following the Christmas holiday.

New York State saw 26,737 people test positive for the virus – though Hochul said on Monday she expects the number to rise up to 20,000 or more by the time Tuesday’s data comes in, as more people will get tested following the Christmas holiday.

Still, Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed that the annual New Years Eve ball drop will continue, even as Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that people should cancel their New Years plans.

De Blasio announced last week that he will limit the number of revelers in Times Square for New Years Eve to 15,000, down from a planned 58,000, and attendees will need to wear masks and show proof of vaccination, as long lines form in the area for COVID tests. 

Meanwhile, de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for private sector employers went into effect on Monday, with all private-sector employees having to show proof that they have received at least one COVID vaccine shot.

The mandate applies to all businesses that employ more than one person and to the self-employed who interact with the public in the course of their business, according to SI Live.

Any employee who submits proof of their vaccine will have 45 days to provide proof of their second shots if they receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and all businesses will nee to fill out a form affirming their compliance and place it in a ‘public-facing location’ at the place of employment.

Fines for noncompliance start at $1,000 and could rise with further infractions.

‘Today [is] a historic day in New York City. We’re implementing the strongest vaccine mandate in the country, all private sector employees today,’ de Blasio said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday morning.

‘This is what we need to do everywhere,’ he said. ‘Every mayor every governor, every CEO in America should do vaccine mandates now, because 2022 has to e the year we leave COVID behind.’

Also on Monday, the city’s vaccine mandate for children went into effect, with all New Yorkers 12 and older required to have received two doses of the COVID vaccine – unless they were injected with the one-shot Johnson and Johnson jab – to enter many indoor settings including restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and Broadway shows.

As of Monday, about 91.6 percent of New York City adults have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 82.8 percent are fully vaccinated. Among children, however, just 41.3 percent are fully vaccinated, 12.5 percent are partially vaccinated and 46.3 percent are not yet vaccinated.

Source: DailyMail

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