Experts: Omicron cases might have peaked

A model by the University of Washington estimates the wave of COVID-19 infection in the United States brought on by the omicron variant has crested and will start to decline, as it appears to be doing in Britain.

Scientists calculated that the true number of daily U.S. infections, including people who were never tested, peaked at 6 million on Jan. 6. The World Health Organization used the university’s model to predict that half of Europe’s population will be infected with omicron within roughly eight weeks. 

Last week researchers at the University of Florida projected that the omicron surge would peak within the next few days. 

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What about hospitalizations? As of Tuesday, nearly 150,000 people were in U.S. hospitals with COVID-19, surpassing last January’s record of just over 142,000. But that number includes people who tested positive for coronavirus after being admitted to the hospital for a different reason.

The number of deaths per day from COVID-19 is increasing but remains less than half the number during the January 2021 wave of the pandemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths and hospitalizations will likely rise over the next month as people fight off the illness. 

Chief infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci joined administration health officials at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. The group faced bipartisan criticism about a lack of promised testing and for confusing messaging about quarantine rules.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2022, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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