Just 10 days into 2022, more than a third of U.S. counties have recorded cases of COVID-19, according to USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
So far this year, about 1,350 counties have reported their highest weekly number of cases since the start of the pandemic.
The analysis suggests that every county in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey has broken a record. Of New York’s 62 counties, only one failed to set a record – Tompkins County peaked in mid-December, after an outbreak at Cornell University. Meanwhile, every county in Hawaii has set a record this year except Kalawao County, a community with just 82 reported residents.
The national daily average of COVID-19 cases rose to around 709,000 with Sunday’s report of around 307,000 cases, which is far lower than in recent days. The country is now reporting around 8.2 cases per second.
The world has been setting records for two weeks now and has an average of 28 reported cases per second,and the growing number of cases weighs on hospitals.
Meanwhile, Americans are struggling to get tested. Home kits can be hard to find, the Federal Trade Commission has warned that scammers are trying to profit from fake rapid tests, and some areas are restricting who can use community test sites.
Also in the news:
►A trio of health experts say it’s time for public and political leaders to start talking about what levels of illness, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 we would accept, according to a new commentary in the JAMA scientific journal. Emergency actions could be triggered when cases exceed a formal risk threshold, and health systems could use it to plan for normal and peak capacity.
► ‘Today’ co-host Savannah Guthrie announced that she tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week after fellow presenter Hoda Kotb tested positive. Guthrie, who received her booster, said her symptoms were mild.
►American Republic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, announced in tweet Sunday evening that she tested positive with a groundbreaking case of COVID-19. She is experiencing symptoms and is recovering at home, and she had received her booster in the fall.
?? The numbers of the day: The United States has recorded more than 59 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 837,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 306 million cases and 5.48 million deaths. More than 207 million Americans – 62.5% – are fully immunized, according to the CDC.
??What we read: Confused by all the COVID-19 home tests? This new report from an independent patient safety group ranks the most widely used, rapid and inexpensive home tests based on their ease of use to help consumers choose a convenient and reliable option.
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Australian judge says Novak Djokovic can stay but drama is not over
Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly also ordered the government on Monday to release Djokovic, who was seeking to play at the Australian Open this year, from Melbourne hotel quarantine within 30 minutes of his decision.
But Australian government lawyers are threatening again to cancel his visa and deport him, which would see the nine-time winner of the Australian Open miss the tournament which begins on January 17. He would also be excluded from the country for three years.
Chicago public schools closed again Monday as teachers’ union and city continue to fight over safety measures
Students in the third largest school system in the country are out of school for a fourth day in a row Monday as Chicago leaders argue with the teachers’ union over an issue that has plagued communities since early 2020: Can schools operate in person safely?
The union says no; city and district leaders say yes. Children and families have been stuck in the middle since Wednesday, when teachers voted to go remote after two days of in-person instruction. Then the city said it wasn’t an option and cut distance education. Negotiations continued over the weekend, but the two sides failed to come to an agreement.
Education experts have increasingly warned that the time for district-wide closures is over and children need to be in school. But large systems in Newark, Milwaukee and Detroit nonetheless switched to remote training only during this week as COVID-19 infections increased and staff shortages increased. Read more here.
– Erin Richards and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY
California Governor Asks $ 2.7 Billion In Emergency Funding To Fight Omicron
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration said on Saturday it was asking the state legislature for $ 2.7 billion in emergency funding to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases linked to the omicron variant.
The request comes a day after Newsom activated 200 members of the California National Guard to help bolster testing facilities. Additional members of the Guard are expected to be deployed next week.
“From day one, California has taken swift and direct action to fight COVID-19 with policies that have saved tens of thousands of lives, but there is still work to be done,” Newsom said.
Administration officials said the state recorded 2,700 new COVID-19 hospital admissions on Friday, bringing the total number of virus admissions to around 10,000.
The funds will also be used to fight misinformation officials believe is behind some Californians’ refusal to get vaccinated. Part of that effort, officials said, is to continue funding community outreach programs in partnership with ethnic media, door-to-door sales and telephone banking.
– Christopher Damien, Palm Springs Desert Sun
Contribution: The Associated Press