CDC cuts estimate for Omicron spread by 200 percent based on new data

The CDC has decreased its estimate for the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in the United States by about 200 percent, based on new data from Christmas week.

The CDC released new data this week that showed the spread of the omicron variant was overestimated for the week of December 19 to December 25. The new data showed the delta variant is still a driving force behind the COVID-19 surge that has gripped the country in recent weeks.

Data for the week of December 12 to December 18 was amended based on data from last week. Instead of Omicron becoming dominant December 12 to 18, Delta remained dominant, accounting for 77% of cases.

Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director for epidemiology and infection prevention at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine, told NPR, “There’s no way around it, it is a huge swing that makes it seem like something went really wrong. But there is always a delay in the testing information that comes in, and that’s what the public should take away.”

The CDC website explains that due to omicron easily infecting vaccinated people and people with natural immunity, the best protection against the variant is to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

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