Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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The new, highly mutated omicron Covid-19 variant now accounts for an estimated 13% of all cases in New York and New Jersey, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The variant, which was first detected in southern Africa about a month ago, has spread to 36 states and 75 countries, accounting for roughly 3% of all cases across the U.S., CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 briefing Wednesday.
“We expect the proportion of omicron cases here in the United States to continue to grow in the coming weeks,” she said.
World Health Organization officials said the variant is spreading at a faster rate than all other previous strains.
“Right now in the United Kingdom, we’re seeing two days or less, which means the number of cases are doubling every two days or less than every two days,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, who runs WHO’s emergencies program, said during a Q&A livestreamed Wednesday on the group’s social media sites.
The delta variant remains the dominant variant in the United States, accounting for roughly 97% of cases, Walensky said.
The CDC reported over 201,000 new reported cases of Covid-19 on Dec 13 and saw a roughly 7% increase in hospitalizations from the week before, according to a slide presentation Wednesday.
The U.S. reached the 800,000 deaths from the Covid-19 virus earlier this week.