Jan 13, 2022 - Health

COVID deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket

Change in reported COVID-19 cases per 100k people in the last two weeks
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Daily COVID infections have more than doubled over the past two weeks, reaching an average of more than 760,000 new infections per day in the U.S.

By the numbers: COVID deaths are also on the rise, up from about 1,200 per day two weeks ago to an average of over 1,700 per day now. The toll is a reminder that while Omicron is not as deadly as past variants, it’s still a serious threat for vulnerable people.

Details: Relative to its population, Rhode Island has the country's biggest COVID outbreak, with an average of more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents. Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York each have more than 350 cases per 100,000 people.

  • If Washington, D.C., was a state, it would be the only state where new infections are slowing down. All 50 of the actual states saw new cases increase over the past two weeks, and most of those increases were large.
  • Only three states — Idaho, Maine and Montana — are averaging fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people.

What we're watching: The pace of COVID deaths may continue to rise over the coming weeks.

  • Compared to previous variants, Omicron appears to kill a much smaller proportion of the people it infects.
  • But cities that were hit with early Omicron surges still saw increases in COVID deaths, lagging a few weeks behind their spikes in cases, per the New York Times.
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