HOPE: Omicron may bring record-breaking cases but fewer deaths, forecast says… 60% of Americans infected by March?

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A highly influential COVID-19 forecast is projecting that the Omicron surge may result in as many as 400,000 new coronavirus cases a day across the nation — significantly higher than last winter’s record of 250,000 cases a day.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects the Omicron surge will continue rising swiftly through December and into January, potentially peaking later next month or in early February. Despite the increase in cases, predictions indicate there will be fewer daily deaths than during last winter’s devastating peak.

The nation — and California — are already showing troubling signs of an Omicron-related surge. The U.S. is reporting an average of nearly 150,000 new coronavirus cases a day, approaching the peak of the summer Delta wave, which reached 164,000 new daily cases.



  • Researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said Omicron could cause about 140 million new COVID infections from January to March
  • Infections were expected to peak at 2.8 million new daily cases on January 28
  • Omicron would eventually infect about 60 percent of all Americans 
  • But the majority will show no symptoms and have fewer hospitalizations and deaths compared to previous surges as Omicron is believed to be milder
  • Daily deaths were predicted to peak at about 2,800 in mid-February
  • Confirmed Omicron cases have increased by 19 percent day-over-day, up to 1,781 as of Wednesday morning as COVID spreads before the holidays
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