Modelers Forecast US to Face Wave of Omicron Death in Coming Weeks

Though the fast-moving omicron variant may be less severe on average, COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are still climbing. Modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die due to the virus by the time this wave is to subside in mid-March, AP News reports. 

            Since mid-November, the seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been trending upward, reaching nearly 1,700 on January 17, according to AP. Along with that, COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents started rising slightly two weeks ago. However, it must be pointed out that both of those numbers are significantly lower than those of last year, 1,600 fewer deaths than the 3,300 of January 2021 and 10 times less the rate of deaths in nursing home residents last year.

            The unprecedented level of infection spreading through the country, despite signs showing omicron causes milder disease on average, means many vulnerable people will become severely sick. “A lot of people are still going to die because of how transmissible omicron has been,” said University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi. “It unfortunately is going to get worse before it gets better.” According to AP News, if the higher end of the projections from modelers comes to past, it would push the total U.S. deaths from COVID-19 over 1 million by early spring. With cases still soaring in many states, it looks like we’re in for a long and rough winter.

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