U.S. Covid cases continue to slow down, with nationwide cases dropping five percent over the past week. And it’s starting to seem that the Omicron variant surged at its peak in mid-January. U.S. cases are now at an average of 723,820 per day. Individual states are beginning to experience a decline in their cases. In fact, zero states have seen an increase in the number of cases by more than 100 percent during the past week.
Omicron is predicted to peak in the near future by health professionals. The variant’s rapid transmission caused many cases to rise, but it also meant that the virus quickly outcompeted its infected counterparts. International data, mainly from South Africa and the UK, revealed that the variant spikes quickly and then drops quickly once it takes hold.
The U.S. had 766,939 new cases per day two weeks prior. The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and late reporting of cases during the week have skewered the last weeks numbers. This has led to lower figures early in the week.
Even though the number of deaths is decreasing, it continues to rise. American deaths are increasing by 30 percent each day, with an average of 2,122 Covid deaths per day. Deaths can often be two weeks late compared to cases. On January 15, cases reached an all-time high of 806,364 deaths per day. It is possible that this trend will continue in the next days.
State-by-state Covid statistics show that cases have dropped across the country. The official data indicates that no state in the U.S. saw its daily cases increase more than two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, all 50 states had seen their cases increase by over 100 percent.
States which were the first to be affected by Omicron are also experiencing the most severe declines. New York State and New Jersey are the states closest to the virus, suffering massive spikes in cases last month. They both have nearly 70% daily declines over two weeks.
Despite rising numbers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), made an unusual move Tuesday to stop monoclonal antibodies treatments being used by large pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Regeneron.
This decision was prompted by the agency pointing out the apparent ineffectiveness of these drugs against Omicron-derived variants.
Omicron wasn’t causing many deaths here in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, it was the lingering Omicron variants that were causing most of the harm to Americans.
The Omicron variant almost completely replaced Delta over the years, accounting for nearly 99 percent of all active cases in the U.S. according to CDC data. Despite the fact that the U.S. is experiencing an increase in deaths, the number has not stopped rising.
Monoclonal antibodies drugs against the Delta variant are very effective. However, their cost and high medical resource requirements make them difficult to use.
After being infected by Covid, the most effective treatment options for Covid-infected people are likely to be Pfizer’s Paxlovid or Merck’s Molnupiravir.
Covid vaccines also work well at protecting against infection, particularly if the person is given a booster. People who have been vaccinated generally experience milder symptoms following infection.
The CDC reports that 75% of Americans have at least received one shot of the Covid vaccine. Only 63 percent of Americans are completely vaccinated. A little over 25% have received Covid booster shots.
After falling precipitously in the last weeks, UK daily Covid cases are now steady. Last month was a difficult one for the nation, as cases rose to an average of 180,000 per day. Following a peak in January, the number of cases plummeted quickly.
South Africa saw a dramatic decline in cases since late last November when it was first to be hit by the virus. The number of cases peaked at more than 23,437 per day by mid-December and is now down to 3,110.
The U.S. may have passed its Covid peak, but its downward trend might not be as fast as that of some other countries. America is much bigger than the rest and has a low population density. It is also possible to travel long distances between different population centers.
This is a good sign that although cases may decline rapidly in certain areas as they did in South Africa and the UK, overall trends won’t be nearly so dramatic.
Omicron’s surge is clearly westward-oriented and appears to be moving beyond the Mississippi into the Great Frontier.
Although numbers may not seem to be falling as much in the U.S. than in other countries it is clear that there is an east-west divide and the American variant acting in a different way than elsewhere.
Kentucky is the only state that has seen a greater than 85 percent rise in the number of cases within the last two weeks.
The eastern half of the country is reporting smaller or declining numbers.
20 states currently report either a decrease in the number of cases or an increase. Three states are located west of the Mississippi River, while Louisiana is down 28 percent.
Nearly every east coast state is seeing a decrease in the number of cases, from Maine to Florida. New York City and New Jersey both have a 68 percent drop and a 69 percent decrease respectively, which is similar to the decline England saw after its peak.
Others along the coast, such as Pennsylvania (45%), Massachusetts (44%%) or Florida (43%), have also reported massive declines in cases over the past 2 weeks.
Even the states in western America that experience rising infection rates are experiencing a decline in daily infections.
Two-week cases growth in states like Wyoming and Montana that saw near 200 percent increase last week has fallen to 65 percent. North Dakota, which also saw near 200 percent increases in cases last week is leading the charge for national case growth at 96 per cent.