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The U.S. has set a seven-day-average record for Covid cases every day over the last week, according to an analysis of NBC News’ case numbers and Department of Health and Human Services hospitalization data. In that time, 33 states, Washington, D.C., and two territories have set records for cases, hospitalizations or both.
On Monday, the U.S. recorded 1 million new Covid cases, according to data compiled by NBC News.
The number of records reinforces recent studies and statements from the World Health Organization that the omicron variant is spreading faster than any previously detected strain of the coronavirus.
“We have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last month. “Even if omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems.”
Twenty-seven states, Washington and two territories have set seven-day-average records for case numbers since Dec. 28.
New Jersey set a case record every day in that period, with the average count ballooning from 15,000 cases a day to more than 27,000, while New York’s average number of cases set six records, from 37,000 to a peak of more than 71,000 average cases per day. Average case numbers in Puerto Rico, which has one of the highest rates of cases in the past week, nearly doubled, from 5,100 to 9,900.
The hospitalization increases are concentrated in a handful of states, unlike cases of the disease, which are rising in all but three states.
As many as 22 states, one territory and Washington, D.C., have set hospitalization records in the previous week. Of those, Washington, D.C., and Ohio accounted for the most records. And almost half the records were for pediatric hospitalizations: Covid hospitalizations among children, now at a record high nationally, are growing at a faster rate than adult Covid hospitalizations.