COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States reached a record high on Monday, as a surge in infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant strains health systems in several states, Trend reports citing Reuters.
There were 132,646 people hospitalized with COVID, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.
Hospitalizations have increased steadily since late December, doubling in the last three weeks, as Omicron quickly overtook Delta as the dominant version of the virus in the United States.
Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin have reported record levels of hospitalized COVID-19 patients recently, according to the Reuters analysis.
Medical staff treat a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient in their isolation room on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, U.S., January 4, 2022.
While potentially less severe, health officials have warned that the sheer number of infections caused by the Omicron variant could strain the hospital systems, some of which have already suspended elective procedures as they struggle to handle the surge of patients amid staff shortages.
The seven-day average for new cases has doubled in the last 10 days to 704,000. The United States has averaged over a half a million cases for the last six consecutive days, according to a Reuters tally.