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The United States on Monday passed 50 million recorded COVID-19 cases, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. 

The milestone underscores the toll of the virus in the U.S., where it is continuing to fuel surges and leave a striking death toll, largely among the unvaccinated. 

Case counts nationally have risen to around 120,000 per day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Some experts have been deemphasizing case counts as a metric, given that some are usually-mild breakthrough cases that occur after someone has been vaccinated. 

But hospitalizations and deaths are also recording alarming trends, largely among the unvaccinated. 

About 1,200 people die from the virus every day, and 65,000 are in the hospital, according to a tracker from The New York Times. A total of about 800,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S. 

Those numbers have been rising again recently as the weather gets colder in the northern part of the country, and people move more activity indoors. 

The omicron variant of the virus poses an additional threat. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are already on the rise, despite the new variant not yet gaining a predominant foothold in the U.S., where the delta variant still dominates. 

Much remains unknown about the new variant, but it has indications of being extremely transmissible. Early data also shows that two doses of vaccine are far less protective against getting infected with the new variant, leading experts to call for all adults to get their booster shots to restore protection. 

Hospitals in some states are strained and urging everyone to get vaccinated and boosted. Minnesota hospital systems took out a full-page ad in local newspapers to warn that they are “overwhelmed.”

The U.S. has one of the highest per capita rates of recorded COVID-19 cases in the world, with about 15,000 cases per 100,000 people, according to a New York Times tracker.


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