Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday – CBC

Hospitals in U.S. facing strain amid Omicron surges, serious staff shortages

Jan 06, 2022

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned on Wednesday against complacency about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, saying the sheer number of cases could strain hospitals despite signs of lower severity.

The staggering pace of Omicron’s spread has snarled life across the country, upending the restart of school after the holiday break, halting air travel, shuttering entertainment venues and throwing a wrench into back-to-office plans.

The rolling seven-day average number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has been hitting new highs in recent days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and hospitalizations have risen sharply — though hospital numbers remain below the January 2021 highs.

“[Omicron] could still stress our hospital system because a certain proportion of a large volume of cases, no matter what, are going to be severe,” Fauci told reporters at a White House briefing.

In hard-hit Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced new or expanded testing sites in nine cities to steer test-seekers away from ERs. About 300 National Guard members are being sent to help out at those centres.

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