Bottom line: The holidays don’t seem to be making a dent in the growth of reported new U.S. COVID-19 cases this year.
Tomorrow, when all the states report new data, you’ll see that the U.S. has broken the record for daily new cases, set at the peak of the last winter wave.
For now, here’s my best guess for the U.S. trend through 12/26/2021. This is the actual U.S. average through 12/23. Beyond that, it’s based on the growth observed in the ten states that consistently reported data from 12/23 to 12/26.
Based on that hybrid estimate, daily new cases have now roughly doubled in the nine days since the start of the Omicron wave. Best guess, as of today, the U.S. averages about 76 new COVID-19 cases / 100K / day.
We will get actual data from almost all states tomorrow, at which point I’ll replace this “hybrid” estimate with the actual data.
Data source for this and other graphs of new case counts: Calculated from The New York Times. (2021). Coronavirus (Covid-19) Data in the United States. Retrieved 12/27/2021, from https://github.com/nytimes/covid-19-data.” The NY Times U.S. tracking page may be found at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html.
That said, I think it’s finally dawning on a lot of people that the simple count of cases doesn’t tell you much, if you’re replacing Delta with a far-less-virulent Omicron. I’ve made that point here, and I’m now seeing that in mainstream media (example).
As far as I can tell, there has still been no commensurate surge in hospitalizations. The CDC still has not updated its COVID-19 data tracker, so this graph is my calculation from the US DHHS hospitalization data itself.
Source for hospital data: Calculation from this U.S. DHHS file.
I believe this is consistent what what’s being observed in those states that produce timely hospitalization data. So far, even for states where new cases are skyrocketing, there has been, at most, am increase in hospitalizations that is far less-than-proportionate to the increase in newly diagnosed cases.