COVID-19 cases in the South and the West continue to hit record highs

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New COVID-19 cases are declining sharply in parts of the Northeast and Midwest, while many places in the South and the West continue to hit record highs.

NPR reports declines are most significant in places across the country that were the first to see a surge in omicron cases, including New York City and Washington D.C. Falling case numbers there could indicate those areas have already reached their peak. But in places such as Utah, Tennessee and Alabama, cases remain high.

Even with cases appearing to peak in some areas of the country, the level of loss of life is still extraordinarily high and deaths continue to rise, reports Aubrey. The U.S. is averaging just under 2,000 deaths a day from the coronavirus, up from 1,200 in early January, and hospitals in many areas are so packed they’re turning away patients.

Some models suggest deaths will begin to decline soon in the coming weeks, signaling the worst could be behind us. Even so, millions have been sickened during the omicron surge of the coronavirus and more variants could emerge in the future. There is room for optimism, though.

While the coronavirus isn’t going away, new therapies to treat COVID might make future outbreaks more manageable, as well as novel developments in how scientists track the virus.

Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna are both working away at a vaccine for kids under 5 in the hopes of submitting it for FDA authorization in the coming months. NPR spoke to pediatricians for advice on how to keep unvaccinated young ones safe until those vaccines are widely available.


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