COVID case counts may be losing importance amid omicron

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The explosive increase in U.S. coronavirus case counts is raising alarm, but some experts believe the focus should instead be on COVID-19 hospital admissions. And those aren’t climbing as fast.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, for one, said Sunday on ABC that with many infections causing few or no symptoms, “it is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases.”

Other experts argue that case counts still have value.

As the super-contagious omicron variant rages across the U.S., new COVID-19 cases per day have more than tripled over the past two weeks, reaching a record-shattering average of 480,000.

Oregon set a single-day record on Dec. 30th with 3,534 new cases.

Schools, hospitals and airlines are struggling as infected workers go into isolation.

Meanwhile, hospital admissions averaged 12,700 per day last week, up 46% from the previous week, but well short of the peak of 16,500 per day a year ago, when the vast majority of the U.S. was unvaccinated.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 498, which is 36 more than Sunday. There are 104 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is eight more than Sunday.

Deaths have been stable over the past two weeks at an average of about 1,200 per day, well below the all-time high of 3,400 last January.

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