The COVID-19 virus has started another wave of infections in America–the fourth by most measures. It has been triggered, primarily,by the new Omicron variant, which currently accounts for three-quarters of the new cases in the U.S. Its spread outside this country has been extraordinary, overwhelming the U.K. accounting for a remarkable surge in London.
The U.S. is in for a brutal winter, perhaps worse than the period last December and January. Omicron spreads more rapidly than earlier variants, and people have gathered together in airports, indoor venues, and in their homes. A large portion of the population is not vaccinated. And, there appear to be more breakthrough cases. These cases involve infection among those who are fully vaccinated, including having had a booster. The previous peak of daily cases was above 250,000 a day last January. That level will almost certainly be breached in the days ahead.
There are several ways to measure how dangerous a geographic area is. Among these are new cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and vaccinations. And, these can be measured by averages over seven days, or a 14 day period. For vaccinations, the yardstick is the percentage of the population that has received a shot, or two, or three.
24/7 Wall St. chose the measure of daily cases averaged over the most recent seven days to pick the most dangerous state. The U.S. figure is currently 59, up by 65% over the past 14 days.
The state with the highest figure by this measure is New York at 132. This number is up 166% in the past 14 days. The daily average in New York is 25,769 cases.
Several states are ahead of New York in terms of the rate of increase. At the top of this list is Hawaii, up 895% to an average of 1,062. Next, Florida is up 860% to 17,825.
How much worse will New York get? A look at New York City provides evidence. According to New York 4:
As eye-popping as the numbers have been in recent days, Thursday afternoon’s report from the state was still stunning — 38,835 positive tests in just one day, an increase of 10,000 from the day before. Of those, 22,208 were in New York City alone, orders of magnitude greater than anything either the city or state faced before omicron (although a true comparison to the number of cases during the initial COVID surge in spring 2020 is impossible because tests were very limited at the time).