WASHINGTON: Another Covid-19 winter surge is brewing in the US as the key indicators -- cases, hospitalisations and deaths -- are all increasing, straining hospitals with record number of patients infected by respiratory diseases.
The country averaged about 65,569 new cases each day in the week ending December 7, a 49.6 per cent surge from the previous week, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday.
Experts believe the real count of cases are much higher as many were underreported due to at-home Covid-19 tests. The country has also continued to see an increase in hospitalizations.
An average of more than 4,800 virus-positive Americans were admitted to hospitals each day in the week ending December 6, a 13.8 per cent increase over the week prior, CDC data showed.
Daily Covid-19 deaths were also rising. The country averaged over 420 fatalities in the most recent week, a 61.7 per cent surge over the previous week.
As of December 8, counties, districts, or territories with a high or medium Covid-19 Community Level increased by 3.6 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively.
Currently, about 64 per cent of sites across the country have reported moderate to high SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater. About 38 per cent of sites reporting wastewater data have seen some of the highest levels for those sites since December 1 last year.
Easing restrictions, broader immunity in the general population and mixed messages about whether the pandemic is over have softened the sense of threat for the public, especially younger adults.
The Covid-19 surge came as people are traveling for holidays and colder winter are pushing for growing indoor gatherings. The climbing of Covid-19 related hospitalizations and deaths are posing severe threats to older adults and those with existing health problems.
The US authorised new Covid-19 booster shots which targets both Omicron and the original coronavirus, and has expanded the use of the booster to include children as young as 6 months.
In addition, only 13.5 per cent of the US population ages 5 years and older have received the updated booster doses since they became available in September, CDC data showed.