As officials deal with an increase triggered by the omicron variant, coronavirus cases are attaining record levels over the world, topping even last winter’s catastrophic record in certain regions.
On Saturday, France recorded over 104,000 new cases, topping the six-figure daily tally for the first time. Over the weekend, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, and the Australian state of New South Wales all confirmed record-breaking numbers of new omicron cases.
According to a Washington Post count, the seven-day average of new daily cases in the United States was more than 203,000 on Sunday, the highest number since Jan. 19 last year.
Health officials in the United States have cautioned that the country might potentially see even more than 1 million new cases each day, considerably above the maximum of 248,000 last winter.
Hospitalizations and deaths from covid-19 have still not risen as rapidly as those from the delta variant, prompting optimism that the omicron variant isn’t as bad as the delta variant, even though these numbers often linger days to weeks after increases in cases.
Nevertheless, some regions of the country are already exceeding expectations: Washington, D.C. is experiencing more than 1,300 cases a day, far beyond the previous high of 322 last winter. Maryland has seen a dramatic increase in cases, with the state now averaging approximately 6,200 cases per day, about double what it was last winter.
Although testing was not typically available during the state’s first wave in early 2020, New York state confirmed more than 49,000 new cases on Sunday, the largest reported total ever during the epidemic.