Coronavirus update: One million new cases on Monday

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Children are driving up hospitalization rates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 56,278,085 (53,715,547)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 827,937 (823,115)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 292,919,609 (284,807,611)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 5,451,900 (5,425,516)‌

U.S. reports 1 million new cases in one day

In a sign that the Omicron variant is spreading unchecked throughout the country, the U.S. recorded more than 1 million new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. That stands as a single-day record.

With Monday’s spike, the U.S. has now reported more than 56 million cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Officials say the big increase is likely a result of large holiday gatherings.

The death rate from the virus remains well below its pandemic high. In the last seven days, the country has reported an average of about 1,200 daily COVID-19 deaths for the week ending Jan. 3. A year ago, when vaccines were not readily available, about 3,000 Americans were dying each day from the virus.

Children are driving up hospitalization rates

The number of Americans hospitalized with severe COVID-19 symptoms continues to rise, and an increasing number of the patients are children. 

An NBC News analysis shows that nine states –  Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, along with Washington, D.C. – have logged a record number of children who require hospital treatment.

"It seems like people have tried to downplay the significance of the disease in children," Dr. Mark Kline, the physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital New Orleans, told NBC. "We've spent two years rebutting myths pertaining to COVID and children, that it's 'harmless' for children. It's not."

FDA expands use of Pfizer vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken several steps to expand the use of the  Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The agency has amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine to include booster shots for adolescents 12 through 15 years of age.

The FDA has also shortened the time between the completion of primary vaccination and a booster dose to at least five months. It also allows for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children five through 11 years of age.

“With the current wave of the Omicron variant, it’s critical that we continue to take effective, life-saving preventative measures such as primary vaccination and boosters, mask-wearing, and social distancing in order to effectively fight COVID-19,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.

Around the nation

  • New York: As students head back to campus, Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced that COVID-19 tests will never be far away. The governor says 10 college and university campuses in New York will host COVID-19 testing sites starting this week.

  • Missouri: The University of Missouri basketball game against Mississippi State that was scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled because of the coronavirus. In a statement, the Southeastern Conference attributed the postponement to COVID-19 issues within Missouri’s basketball program.

  • California: Health officials in Southern California say young people are primarily responsible for the current surge in COVID-19 cases. The state ended 2021 with 27,000 new cases. Doctors say about 25% of Californians tested for the virus are testing positive.

  • Tennessee: Shelby County schools are stepping up COVID-19 testing as the Memphis area sees an increase in new cases of the virus. Starting Jan. 17, the school system will test students and faculty once a week, increasing the rate from once every two weeks.

  • Maine: The Maine Medical Association has issued a statement criticizing what it called a “small minority” of physicians in the state that are allegedly spreading COVID-19 misinformation. The statement is in reaction to a briefing for state lawmakers that only included doctors who are critical of the state’s vaccination mandate for health care workers.

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