Roy Exum: Omicron is getting worse

Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland, declared a 30-day “state of emergency” on Tuesday after seeing predictions that the COVID flu could see more than 5,000 people hospitalized in the coming weeks in his state. The same could soon happen in a state near you – 34.4% of corona tests in Tennessee now come back positive. This means that one in three tests in Tennessee is positive. There is no room to doubt that the worst is yet to come.

Maryland’s tests are 48.4% positive, almost one in two. It is a state of 6 million people and a record 82,660 new cases last week overwhelmed its hospitals. The state of emergency allows Governor Hogan to call on the National Guard to deploy to hospitals and emergency centers.

Tennessee’s population (6.9 million) is larger than Maryland’s and recorded 41,642 new cases over the past week, but with the raging omicron variant so highly contagious, the telltale signs are concerning.

“With this new wave of omicron, it’s important for Marylanders to start using common sense again and doing the things that will protect us: avoid the crowds, keep your distance, wash your hands and yes, again. , wear the goddamn masks, “Governor Hogan said. He added that he would not be calling for a statewide mask mandate because it would be too difficult to enforce.

The Maryland health official yesterday reported a record 3,057 people hospitalized with COVID – a 500% increase in the past seven weeks alone. The Tennessee Department of Health reported 94,029 active cases as of Jan. 2 – a 152% increase from the previous week. (The Hamilton County Health Department announced 1,014 new cases on Tuesday.)

Tennessee’s tally is a pandemic record for the state eclipsing 65,382 (December 13-19, 2020), and the winter push is pushing up the charts in nearly every state. As the omicron spreads so rapidly – a month ago we had barely heard of it – it viciously attacks those who choose not to be vaccinated. There are also a good number of break-in infections (people vaccinated), but doctors find that the symptoms are milder.

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FROM NPR: The United States reported 1,082,549 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It is the latest in a series of milestones brought about by the highly transmissible variant of omicron, which is sweeping the United States and around the world.

The United States has broken several of its own COVID-19 records in recent days. Last week, Johns Hopkins reported more than 480,000 new cases in a single day, more than double the number of daily cases reported during the peak of the delta surge. The seven-day average has passed 280,000.

These are the numbers health officials are watching at this stage of the pandemic

For reference: The country averaged around 70,000 cases per day in early November.

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FROM THE WASHINGTON POST: More than 103,000 Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, according to figures from the Washington Post, the highest number since late summer, when the delta variant of the coronavirus triggered an increase in cases at national scale.

The figure reflects a 27% increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the United States over the past week, while the daily average of new cases over the same period has more than doubled. The average number of new daily deaths from COVID-19 has fallen by eight percent.

* – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommended that recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive booster doses five months after their second injection, shortening the interval by one month.

* – A fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine generated a quintuple of antibodies a week after the injection, according to preliminary results of a study released Tuesday by the Israeli government.

* – More than 826,000 people have died from coronavirus in the United States and more than 57,078,000 cases have been reported.

* – For 100K, there has been a 110% increase in new cases over the past seven days in the United States with 147. Tennessee is 138% last week for 100K

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FROM NBC-NEW YORK: As COVID-19 infections with the omicron variant of the virus spiral out of control nationwide, emergency rooms are filling again – and a well-known New York City doctor says that what they are seeing now is very different than the last two years of the pandemic.

Manhattan ER doctor Dr Craig Spencer took to Twitter late Monday night to explain how the current push is different – both with respect to who comes to the ER and how they are affected by it. the highly contagious virus.

“Today it seemed like everyone had COVID. Like, so much. And yes, like before, some were really short of breath and needed oxygen. But for the most part, COVID seemed to overturn a delicate balance of disease. It makes people really sick in a different way, “Spencer wrote. Spencer cited a few examples – diabetics going into ketoacidosis, elderly people who were so weak because they were sick they couldn’t get out of bed, etc.

“What’s also different now is that these COVID cases are often in beds next to patients who have done everything to avoid the virus, and for whom infection can have dramatic consequences. The cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. Those who are immunocompromised or seriously ill with something else, “Spencer said.

He acknowledged, as studies across the world have concluded, that the omicron variant appears to cause milder disease than the delta variant that ravaged the country last summer. But at the same time, with so many people infected, it ultimately doesn’t really matter to hospitals.

“But there are so many and it impacts patients in different ways. So even if a tiny fraction of cases have to stay in the hospital, it can turn into a huge influx, Spencer tweeted.

Spencer, a Columbia University-affiliated Manhattan emergency physician who became a Twitter superstar at the start of the pandemic for his ongoing commentary on the battle against the virus, recently shared a detailed breakdown of what the cases look like. from omicron that he and his colleagues met. like so far.

“Every patient I have seen with COVID who has received a 3rd ‘booster’ dose has had mild symptoms. By mild I mean mainly sore throat. Lots of sore throat. Also, a little bit of sore throat. fatigue, maybe muscle aches. No difficulty breathing. No shortness of breath. All a little uncomfortable, but it’s okay, “Spencer wrote.

From there, it decreases, depending on your vaccination status or lack of it.

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FROM NBC-NEW YORK: COVID hospitalizations in New York topped 10,000 and then some on Tuesday, totaling their highest levels since early May 2020 as new estimates released by the CDC believe prevalence regional omicron reached 99%.

The estimated share of the variant in current COVID-19 cases in the United States is at least 92% or more, according to the federal health agency. Both reflect large increases from last week, especially nationally, and come as New York and America struggle almost daily with record workloads as well as virus hospitalizations.

The data is almost difficult to understand. More than one in five tests in New York are coming back positive these days, and that number is expected to rebound significantly on Wednesday after Governor Kathy Hochul said holiday weekend reporting delays were likely to blame for the number of “deceptive” daily cases ranged from 51,000 to 53,000 in the past two days after nearing a record 90,000 on the first day of the new year.

However, the growing number of hospitalizations statewide is not misleading. As of Tuesday, the statewide number of hospitalizations stood at 10,411, the highest total since April 30, 2020, when the total stood at 10,993. The level of increase over the past two days only (1,638), for comparison, is only 238 admissions fewer than the statewide total hospitalizations exactly three months ago.

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