HomeCOVID-19 cases in the US hit record high: latest news

COVID-19 cases in the US hit record high: latest news

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  • Cases in the United States are at an all-time high
  • Australia eases up on testing rules
  • Early results suggest that J&J booster is beneficial in preventing hospitalization in South Africa

COVID-19 cases in the United States have reached an all-time high, owing mostly to the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus type.

In an effort to relieve pressure on testing locations, Australia set a new record on Thursday by narrowing its definition of close contacts of coronavirus cases and relaxing standards for COVID-19 tests.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has cautioned that the Omicron and Delta types of COVID-19 could result in a “tsunami” of cases, putting “immense pressure” on healthcare systems.

The following are the most recent updates:

Cases in the United States are at an all-time high

The number of new COVID infections in the United States has reached an all-time high, with more than 265,000 infections per day on average.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the number of new daily cases has more than doubled in the last two weeks, surpassing the previous high of 250,000 established in mid-January.

Omicron has cast a fog over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, prompting people to limit back or cancel their celebrations.

For people who have had two or three vaccine doses, Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, said there is no reason to cancel small house parties.

Australia eases up on testing rules

For the first time in the outbreak, Australia has set a new record, with daily cases exceeding 20,000 the first time.

The government has narrowed the definition of “close contacts” of coronavirus cases to include persons who live in the same household as an infected person. They’d have to isolate for seven days and only undergo a PCR test if they showed signs of COVID-19.

The rules are being relaxed to prevent asymptomatic people from being forced into isolation, particularly in the healthcare, hospitality, and airline industries, as well as to reduce long lines of people being forced to get PCR tests for interstate travel or because they were at a public site with a confirmed case.

The country’s medical organization slammed the government for redefining close contacts, claiming that it will hasten the spread.

Early results suggest that the J&J booster is beneficial in preventing hospitalization in South Africa

According to researchers, a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was 84 percent effective in preventing hospitalization among South African healthcare workers infected as the Omicron variety spread.

The study, which was not peer-reviewed, was based on 69,092 healthcare workers receiving a second shot of the J&J vaccine between November 15 and December 20.

After being temporarily halted due to concerns about exceedingly rare incidents of blood clots, the trial has resumed assessing the efficacy of the J&J vaccine in the field.

A booster dose has been shown in several studies to give significant protection against severe illness.

Image Credit: Getty

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