The United States continues to see a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
Data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that as of Tuesday, the seven-day average for COVID-19 cases reached 277,241, surpassing the milestone of over 250,000 recorded in January.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Wednesday that the rapid increase in cases is in large part a reflection of the exceptionally transmissible Omicron variant.
She also said hospitalizations and deaths remain comparatively low at the moment.
Walensky said that this may be due to early indications seen from other countries, including South Africa and the UK, that the disease from Omicron may be milder, especially among the vaccinated and the boosted.