France reports daily record cases as omicron hits Europe hard

France reported more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, setting a new record as the highly contagious omicron variant rips across Europe.

Saturday marked the first time the country recorded six figures in a single day, with 104,611 cases.

The country logged 94,124 new infections on Friday, according to France's public health agency.

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The omicron variant has quickly become the dominant strain in many countries, driving a surge in cases.

The United Kingdom reported a record high for daily cases on Friday.

Early research suggests that variant, first identified in South Africa, may be less severe than previous iterations, at least for vaccinated individuals.

France reported Friday that nearly 77 percent of its residents are fully vaccinated.

Cases in the U.S. are also on the rise, with numbers above 250,000 at the end of the workweek. The numbers have dropped over the Christmas weekend, when reporting typically lags, but are expected to rise again with omicron becoming the dominant variant.