Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Omicron surge: Hospitalizations rise across the US


Hospitalizations are rising across the U.S. as a surge of COVID-19 cases continues to escalate, fueled by the omicron and delta variants.

Kansas averaged 38 new COVID-19 hospitalizations and reported 11 additional deaths per day for the seven days ending Monday, with hospitals under stress both due to the inflow of new patients and to infection among staff. 

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More than 500 out of over 13,000 employees at the University of Kansas Hospital were sick or awaiting test results on Tuesday. 

The state reported a record seven-day average for new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and the state health department said coronavirus variants have been confirmed in all 105 Kansas counties, mostly from the delta variant. 

In Mississippi, the state health officials said the same day that 695 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were hospitalized on Sunday — up from 265 on Dec. 19.

More than 17,000 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the state from Thursday through Sunday and the health department said last week that cases of omicron had surpassed those of the delta variant.

A sign was posted at the front of this CVS pharmacy at the Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. It was widely reported that the at-home COVID-19 tests were in very short supply throughout the state.

A sign was posted at the front of this CVS pharmacy at the Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. It was widely reported that the at-home COVID-19 tests were in very short supply throughout the state.
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

In West Virginia, the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 hit 721 on Monday — the highest since mid-October and up 29% since Christmas.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 81% of intensive-care unit beds statewide are in use, including 31% for COVID-19 patients.

Active coronavirus cases jumped 72% over the past week and there were a record 11,138 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide last week.

In addition, the state surpassed 2,000 positive cases for the first time, doing so on three consecutive days.

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In the Northeast, New Jersey hospitals and long-term care facilities are also facing staff shortages.

Gov. Phil Murphy and health officials said Monday that hospitalizations have climbed by nearly 60% since the end of last month.

Hospitalizations rose from nearly 3,000 on Dec. 27 to more than 4,700 on Sunday, the governor said. 

Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli noted that hospitalizations have surpassed the 2020 peak level in the southern part of the state.

In neighboring New York City, new cases of COVID-19 rocketed up from a daily average of about 17,000 in the week before the holidays to nearly 37,000 last week.

Tuesday data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows at least 469 daily average hospitalizations in the last week, with the trend “increasing.” 

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Across the U.S., new COVID-19 cases have more than tripled in the past two weeks, reaching a record-shattering average of 480,000.

Hospital admissions averaged 12,700 per day last week, up 46% from the previous week, but still short of the peak of 16,500 per day a year ago.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 56 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and more than 827,800 people have died, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.