Omicron has now become the dominant COVID-19 variant in the United States, health officials said on Dec. 20.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that Omicron — which it classifies as a variant of concern — now represents 73% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., as of Dec. 18.
The increase comes just three weeks after Omicron was first detected in the country.
Omicron has now been detected in all but two states — North Dakota and Oklahoma.
According to the CDC, Omicron accounts for over 90% of news cases in some parts of the country, including New York, New Jersey area, Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest, and most areas in the South.
Two weeks ago, Omicron was estimated to account for only 0.4% of all new cases.
Health officials warned that there could be a further surge of cases after Christmas and the New Year.
Data from the CDC showed that the U.S. record 88,379 new COVID-19 cases on Dec. 19, bringing the total number since the beginning of the pandemic to 50,791,012 — the highest in the world.
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