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Jan. 4, 2022, 2:51 p.m. EST

The U.S. reported more than 1 million COVID-19 cases on Monday

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Jaimy Lee

The U.S. recorded more 1 million new COVID-19 cases for the first time on Monday, once again setting another record as the number of people testing positive for the virus continues to soar.

This is this the nation’s highest one-day case count during the course of the pandemic—the previous U.S. record was 590,000 cases on Dec. 30 —though some of the cases may be attributed to the holiday backlog .

That said, the figure is more than double the largest number of cases reported in a single day by any other country. That record was previously held by India, with about 414,000 cases, on May 7 , during the country’s delta wave.

Public health experts have been anticipating millions of new cases due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation put out new projections last month, saying it expects a peak of 2.8 million new cases in the U.S. per day by late January.

The new variant is now estimated to make up 95% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. during the last week of December. It is thought to be much more transmissible—and much more likely to infect people who have already been vaccinated. 

The newest worry, however, is the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S., which just crossed 100,000 for the first time since the summer, according to The Washington Post’s figures .

“It is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical advisor, told “This Week” on Sunday

COVID-19 news to know

• Public transit systems in Massachusetts, New York, and St. Louis are dealing with staffing shortages as workers call out sick during the omicron surge, according to The Wall Street Journal . This has led to delays and cancellations in service.

• Starbucks Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX -0.95% said Monday that its U.S. workers must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 9 or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

• Los Angeles County said there are delays in ambulance response to 911 calls, given staffing shortages and busy hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reported .

A look at the numbers

The daily average for COVID-19 cases climbed to 486,658, up 20% in a day, up 239% in two weeks and 94% above the Jan. 11, 2021, peak of 251,232, according to a New York Times tracker

The seven-day average of COVID-19-related hospitalizations reached 97,847 on Monday, up 41% from two weeks ago and the most since Sept. 11, Meanwhile, the daily average of deaths slipped 3% from two weeks ago to 1,276. 

The number of fully vaccinated Americans inched up to 205.81 million, representing about 62% of the population, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data , while 68.81 million, or 33.4% of the population, have received boosters. 

—Tomi Kilgore

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