Posted by handle, Wed Jan-05-22 11:52 AM
Omicron now 95% of new COVID-19 infections in U.S., CDC estimates
The Omicron variant made up around 95.4% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an updated estimate published on Tuesday. Only two regions of the U.S. — New England and part of the Midwest — have yet to reach 90% locally. The Delta variant, which was dominant up until a few weeks ago, makes up nearly all the other cases.
Omicron may be less severe, but it's raising Houston hospitalizations to ‘staggering’ levels
The Texas Medical Center topped 400 new COVID admissions per day between Christmas and New Year’s Day, double the previous week and on par with the worst of delta’s summertime peak. Before omicron’s arrival, the hospital consortium was averaging just 56 hospitalizations per day throughout the month of November.
At Texas Children’s Hospital, pediatric hospitalizations are up fivefold since mid-December. Seventy kids, most unvaccinated, were in the hospital’s COVID wing as of Monday, a tally the hospital’s pathologist-in-chief, Dr. James Versalovic, called “staggering.”
“We cannot say this (variant) is milder for children because it is frankly early and we need time to follow these children and gather data about their outcomes,” Versalovic told reporters Monday.
'No ICU beds left': Massachusetts hospitals are maxed out as COVID continues to surge
Experts say although the now-dominant omicron variant appears to result in less severe illness than earlier variants, the sheer number of new cases is overwhelming the capacity of the state's hospitals.
"It's really a math issue," Lai-Becker said. "It's the sheer volume, that so many more people have been infected with COVID."
Even if only a small percentage of people who have COVID-19 require hospitalization for their symptoms, overall case numbers are so high that even that small percentage is enough to pack emergency rooms, she explained.