US sets new record for Covid-19 hospitalizations
The US has broken its previous record for Covid-19 hospitalizations, counting 145,982 patients currently in the hospital with the virus as of Tuesday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Tuesday’s figure outstrips the previous peak of 142,000 hospitalizations set last January – before the widespread rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Some public health officials have blamed the unvaccinated for the current high rate of hospitalization.
Health officials continue to point to the vaccine as the best defense against severe disease and hospitalization, blaming the current spike in serious cases on the sheer number of Omicron infections and noting that the numbers would be even worse without it.
The new variant is said to be especially transmissible, even if its effects are supposed to be comparatively mild next to previous variants such as Delta.
Referencing a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study on breakthrough infections among vaccinated people, the agency’s director, Rochelle Walensky, said that around three in four patients that died with the virus were “unwell to begin with,” having “at least four comorbidities.”
The number of new cases of the virus is said to be climbing at an unprecedented rate, with more than 700,000 new infections per day, according to the New York Times. However, the PCR tests used to determine whether or not an individual has the virus have been criticized for being overly sensitive, with some estimates suggesting that as many as 90% of those who test positive had very low levels of the virus.