What We Know About The Rapid Increase Of COVID-19 Cases In The US

COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday. According to recent data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States is averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, the highest level in 2 months (via CNN). As a result, the number of COVID-19 deaths has also increased, averaging around 1,651 deaths per day, as of Saturday, Dec. 4.

Despite the detection of several dozen cases of the Omicron variant, however, the Delta variant still remains the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S, and unvaccinated people still make up the bulk of new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. "Even if the Omicron strain doesn't turn out to be any worse, we are losing close to a thousand people every day from the Delta variant, and that in and of itself is a reason for people to get boosted," Dr. Richard Besser, the former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told CNN.

Rise in COVID-19 cases likely due to holiday travel and gatherings

According to health experts, the recent surge in cases is likely due to travel and family gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday, especially those that included unvaccinated friends and family members (via CNBC). "Think about it. Somebody gets exposed and infected on Thursday or Friday of last week," Dr. Michael Saag, an associate dean for global health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNBC. "Then it takes two or three days for incubation."

That's why it's important to get vaccinated and take all of the necessary safety precautions. As the rest of the holiday season approaches, it's imperative to take steps to help ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. For instance, it's best to keep your gatherings small and require those invited to get tested for COVID-19 before showing up at your house (via MarketWatch). In addition, those who are considered high-risk should be extra careful and get a booster shot to help strengthen their immunity. "Just as I said and I'll say it again, if you have a vaccinated situation, enjoy the holidays with your family in a family setting," Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.