The count of new cases in the United States declined slightly for the first time since Christmas, a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
The country reported 5.23 million cases in the week ending Tuesday, up from 5.28 million cases in the seven-day period ending Monday. The previous count likely included testing deferred until that week of a long holiday weekend.
Case counts in the US increased 34% from a week ago, and on Tuesday, 47 states reported higher case counts than the previous week; 21 states set case records in one week; 48 states reported more COVID-19 patients in hospital beds; and 41 states reported more COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, data from Johns Hopkins and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show.
Still, there are encouraging signs. Boston has been a hot spot, but Massachusetts General Hospital Dr. Mark Siedner said CBS in Boston there are early signs that the city has “turned the corner.” One of those signs is a sewage monitoring system – virus particles found in sewage are no longer infectious, but can still be measured and can reflect trends among people who contribute to sewage.
“The wastewater data is out and the news is good,” tweeted Bill Hanage, associate professor at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. other factors. “
– Mike stucka
Also in the news:
►Unvaccinated Virginia residents were infected at a rate four times that of fully vaccinated residents of the state during the two-week period ending January 1, state health officials said. Rates of hospitalization and death were also about four times higher.
►The consumer price index jumped 7% last year, the fastest pace since 1982, the Labor Department said Wednesday. COVID-driven worker shortages and supply chain bottlenecks were blamed.
►West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has tested positive for COVID-19 and is “experiencing moderate symptoms,” said the Governor tweeted Tuesday night. Govt. Justice is fully vaccinated and empowered.
►Scientists are seeing signs that the alarming wave of COVID-19 omicrons may have peaked in Britain. The variant has proven to be so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect.
►The United States faces its worst blood shortage in more than a decade, largely as a result of a drop in blood drive due to the pandemic, the American Red Cross said.
📈Today’s numbers: The United States has recorded more than 62 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 842,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global Totals: More than 313.9 million cases and almost 5.5 million deaths. More than 207 million Americans, 62.6%, are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘What we are reading: Omicron hit the US hard and fast last month, but the multi-university model shows the wave of infections may have peaked, and hospitalizations and deaths should continue.
As new variants continue to emerge, including the incredibly contagious omicron variant, experts call improved protection options such as N95 and KN95 masks. Quality masks can now be found and purchased on the consumer market at a fair price, and it could be the next best purchase you can make to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic. The N95 and KN95 masks have a filtration efficiency of 95%. N95 masks are certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. KN95s, which according to the CDC are the most widely available masks, are made in China and meet specific Chinese standards. Learn more here.
– Felicity Warner, Reviewed
Grocery store shortages across the country have worsened in recent weeks as omicron continues to spread and winter storms have added to supply chain problems and labor shortages. The reported shortage across the country is widespread, affecting agricultural products and meat, as well as packaged goods such as cereals. Curt Covington, AgAmerica’s senior director of institutional credit, told USA TODAY that shortage trends for specific foods are intermittent and varied.
“The shortage depends on the item, the store and the region of the country,” Covington said. “The shortage may be due to problems in the supply chain, consumer behavior or environmental factors, so it is difficult to determine what will be affected next.”
Wastewater followers are not alone in forecasting a decrease in the rise of omicron. The multi-university model also shows that the wave of infections may have peaked, and hospitalizations and deaths should continue. COVID-19 infections peaked on January 6, according to researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine. That’s close to estimates from the University of Texas, Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, which peaks between Jan.9-13.
“That’s a range between the most pessimistic and optimistic scenarios,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the consortium.
Because hospitalizations delay infections by about two weeks, the University of Washington team estimated that the daily U.S. hospital census, including incidental admissions with COVID-19, will peak on January 25. Read more here.
– elizabeth way
The White House announced plans Wednesday to send an additional 5 million rapid tests to schools each month, at no cost, as some districts struggle to return to in-person learning amid a record spike in COVID-19 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will work with states to submit applications to school districts that need additional rapid tests. Once initial applications are submitted, the first shipments will be delivered later this month, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House.
The Department of Health and Human Services will also expand the laboratory’s capacity to support up to 5 million additional PCR tests per month. Schools can access additional PCR testing by submitting requests to three federally funded regional providers that offer test materials, supplies, and laboratory results through four regional centers.
The Oregon Department of Justice and the Better Business Bureau have launched Investigations into an Illinois-based company that manages COVID-19 testing sites across the nation.
The Oregon Department of Justice opened a civil investigation into the COVID Control Center this week for violations of the Unfair Business Practices Act, spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson said.
The company operates test sites across the country, some like “pop-ups” running out of sheds and mobile storage units. Many Americans rushed to the sites amid a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the omicron variant and a national shortage of tests. But dozens of people across the country have contacted USA TODAY expressing concern about the company.
Many said they discovered the sites by searching nearby testing options on Google and were surprised at how the sites performed. Some said they received their test results later than promised or did not receive them.
At least two people filed complaints about the Center for COVID Control testing sites with the Oregon Department of Justice in October. USA TODAY reported last week. The individuals raised concerns about the security and legitimacy of the sites, claiming that the sites offer “bogus evidence.” One said they were given proof that said it had expired in June 2021.
– Grace Hauck, USA TODAY
This means that nearly 1 million COVID-19 tests that the federal government deemed expired will now be available to Floridians who have struggled to find tests.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Candidate for Governor Nikki Fried alleged at the end of December that Governor Ron DeSantis stockpiled evidence of COVID-19 that would “imminently expire,” despite high demand for tests like omicron.
During a news conference with DeSantis on Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida, Kevin Guthrie, director of the state’s Division of Emergency Management, confirmed that Florida had between 800,000 and 1 million COVID-19 tests that expired from 26 to December 30th.
According to Guthrie, they had originally expired in September, but the state received a three-month extension for those test kits from the manufacturer and federal regulators.
– Frank Gluck, Fort Myers News-Press
Contributing: The Associated Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism