The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose to a total of nearly 266 million on Friday, while the death toll climbed to about 5.3 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University . The U.S. leads the world with a total COVID-19 case count of 49.1 million and death toll of 788,364. The daily average case count rose 109,822 on Sunday, the highest since Sept. 30, and a 19% increase from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times Tracker . The daily average death toll rose 5% to 1,178, while hospitalizations increased 18% to a seven-week high of 58,992. Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser gave an encouraging update on the omicron variant over the weekend, saying on CNN's "State of the Union" that while more information is needed before drawing conclusions, initial indications suggest there may not be a great degree of severity to it. Meanwhile, the number of Americans at lesat 12 years old who are fully vaccinated inched up to 197.7 million, or 69.7% of that population.
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