As expected, the holiday season did in fact cause a surge in COVID-19 cases. With family and friends gathering together to celebrate, many people became ill and exposed others. With the new Omicron variant, COVID-19 cases are even higher than anyone would have imagined a few months ago. It is important to wear your mask, get vaccinated, and keep your distance from those not in your family.
Both the number of cases and hospitalizations in the United States have increased throughout the holiday season. With increasing amounts of travel and families gathering together, this was likely to happen. From early December to late December, the positivity rate increased from around 7% to around 22%, a significant and alarming increase. This means that just about one in four people taking COVID-19 tests are testing positive.
The number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 also increased. As of early December, around 50,000 people around the United States were in the hospital with COVID-19. In late December, hospitalizations rose to roughly 80,000, another significant increase. This virus is not to be taken lightly, and one month of serious change proves this. Large gatherings cannot be taking place right now if the spread is going to stop anytime soon.
Vaccination eligibility is always changing, but the FDA has approved the Pfizer booster for people ages 12 and up after five months since the second shot. Ages 5 and up are still eligible to get their two-shot series of the Pfizer vaccination. Getting vaccinated is so important in slowing the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 virus. Doing so helps build up immunity so that vaccinated people don’t contract COVID-19, and if they do, their symptoms are likely to be much less severe than someone who is unvaccinated.
The CDC rated the community transmission of COVID-19 in the United States as “High”. In the last 30 days, the CDC shows an uphill slope of cases, and millions of those cases come from December of 2021. The whole month caused questions about school, work, and many more day-to-day activities that could be shut down due to an excessive number of cases. In order to go back to normal, we need to take all of the proper precautions to keep ourselves and others safe.