US Surgeon General: Prepare for high case counts, hospitalizations as omicron peaks soon

COVID-19 hospitalizations are shattering records as the omicron-driven surge continues across the country.

This comes as the White House announces that six more military medical teams will be deployed to some of the hardest-hit areas.

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New federal data shows nearly 156,000 patients are in the hospital with COVID-19 right now.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is tracking COVID hospitalizations and the agency is now reporting that patients with COVID-19 fill about 30% of ICU beds in the nation.

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This comes as the CDC says pediatric hospitalizations are at their highest rate since the pandemic began.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said we should be prepared for several more weeks of high cases and even record hospitalizations before the omicron variant peaks and declines.

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“This is heartbreaking at the end of two years of a pandemic,” said Murthy.

He said a majority of these hospitalizations represent people who are unvaccinated.

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“To me, it’s heartbreaking because every one of those lives that’s lost, I wonder about whether that death could have been prevented in the vast majority cases it could have been,” said Dr. Murthy. “So that’s why it’s so important right now that we recognize that while this may go on for a few weeks more, there are steps we can take to protect ourselves, and to protect the people we love.”

President Biden said the White House will announce plans next week for distributing high-quality masks for free.

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