New COVID cases in U.S. leveling off
After plummeting for several weeks, the number of new COVID cases in the U.S. has largely leveled off.
Driving the news: The CDC confirmed this week the Omicron subvariant BA.2, which has been driving surges of COVID elsewhere around the world, has become the dominant strain circulating in the U.S.
By the numbers: The U.S. is now averaging roughly 29,253 new COVID cases per day, a 6% drop from the rolling average of about 31,000 cases two weeks ago (and about even with new cases just a week ago).
- Kansas and Louisiana had the lowest case rates with two new cases per 100,000 people. Alaska has the highest case rate with 29 new cases per 100,000.
- Idaho saw the greatest drop in new cases over the past two weeks with rates dropping from 38 cases to six cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks.
- While cases are still comparatively low, three states — New York, Massachusetts and Texas — reported some of the biggest increases in new cases.
Of note: There were just more than 700 daily deaths on average from COVID, down from more than 1,200 two weeks ago.
What they're saying: "While it is slightly more transmissible than the original Omicron, our vaccines work, our boosters work, and it does not indicate more severe disease than the original Omicron," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House press briefing.