The number of COVID-19 cases has reached a new daily high in the United States, due in large part to the spread of the Omicron variant.
Countries around the world have recorded an uptick in COVID-19 cases as of late, as the Omicron variant continues to reach more Americans. In the United States, cases have risen to the highest daily level since the pandemic began.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, on Dec. 27, the United States recorded 512,553 new cases, eclipsing the previous record.
While cases have spiked, hospitalizations and deaths have not followed suit. This has led many to believe that the Omicron variant, while more transmissible, is less likely to result in serious illness than the preceding variants.
The imbalance between cases and serious illness or death is perhaps best attributed, however, to the effectiveness of vaccines. The vast majority of those who have died or had to go to the hospital are unvaccinated, a trend that has been ongoing since the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced.
Nonetheless, the rise in cases has caused many people to change their holiday plans, and institutions to cancel or postpone in-person activities. Universities across North America, for example, have cited rising case numbers as justification for reverting to online learning for the first two weeks of the upcoming semester.
Sports and entertainment have also been hit hard. On the heels of the NHL postponing a number of games due to COVID, the IIHF 2022 World Juniors, which began on Dec. 26 in Alberta, were abruptly cancelled after too many players tested positive.
With New Years Eve approaching, officials have urged people to stay safe and exercise caution when making plans.
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