Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Omicron: High case numbers don’t tell whole story

People wait in line for free COVID-19 tests in Chicago on Thursday. Associated Press/Photo by Nam Y. Huh

Omicron: High case numbers don’t tell whole story

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the omicron variant now accounts for 95 percent of new COVID-19 infections. The White House doubled an order for Pfizer’s antiviral pills to treat coronavirus symptoms, and President Joe Biden again urged unvaccinated Americans to get a shot. The CDC logged 1 million new cases on Monday, but the number combines weekend infections because agencies did not report over the holiday weekends.

What do the numbers mean? Health officials, including top government infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said case counts alone no longer provide an accurate picture of the pandemic. People rushed to get tested before holiday travel and events, which also likely contributed to a surge in the numbers, but many at-home tests are never reported. Health experts are instead looking at hospital admissions, which currently average 14,800 per day, up 63 percent from the week before but still below a peak of 16,500 per day a year ago, according to the CDC. Deaths have also remained low, averaging 1,200 per day, well below January 2021’s peak of 3,400.

Dig deeper: Read Rachel Lynn Aldrich’s report in The Sift about how the CDC tracks omicron cases.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...