The White House COVID-19 Response Team held a briefing Wednesday as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.
During the briefing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky confirmed the spike in cases after the holidays.
As of Wednesday, the omicron variant makes up 95% of new cases, while the delta variant makes up 5%.
According to the CDC, the current seven-day daily average of cases is 491,700 per day — this is a 98% increase over the previous week.
The seven-day daily average of hospitalizations is 14,800 per day — that’s a 63% jump increase since the previous week.
And the seven-day average number of deaths now stands as 1,200 per day — a 5% increase.
President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. is doubling its order for an anti-viral pill produced by Pfizer that was recently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19. That means 20 million doses, with the first 10 million pills to be delivered by June.
Officials say the treatment is an encouraging new weapon in the fight against COVID-19.
“These pills can dramatically decrease hospitalizations and deaths and are game changers with the potential to alter the impact of COVID on people and our nation,” said White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients.
Health experts continue to stress the importance of boosters and vaccinations for the best protection against COVID-19.