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US Omicron cases TRIPLE to 159 with new COVID variant now in 30 states as UK records first death, US deaths near 800,000 and one in 100 Americans aged 65 and up is confirmed to have died of virus

  The   Omicron   variant is continuing its spread across the U.S., now being confirmed over 150 times in 30 U.S. states. Over the weekend, ...

 The Omicron variant is continuing its spread across the U.S., now being confirmed over 150 times in 30 U.S. states.

Over the weekend, five U.S. states - Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Tennessee - joined the growing list of states to detect the variant within its borders.

Texas also took over as the nation's leader in sequenced cases, overtaking New York, with 36 cases sequenced.

In total, 159 cases of Omicron have been confirmed by U.S. health officials, though the total number of cases nationwide is much higher, including 43 cases reported by the CDC on Saturday.

In the wake of this new threat, health officials are urging Americans to receive COVID-19 booster shots, as initial data is showing the new variant has the ability to evade protection provided by the vaccines.

The nation also approaches another dark milestone in the pandemic, as it will likely eclipse 800,000 deaths caused by the virus at some point this week.

An analysis by the New York Times finds that Americans over the age of 65 have been struck especially hard by the virus, with one of every 100 people in the age group succumbing to Covid. 

Across the pond, the UK has recorded its first death caused by the strain, as the nation suffers a massive outbreak of the new strain.

The UK leads the world in confirmed cases of the variant, approaching the 5,000 mark on Monday morning. 

Health Minister Sajid Javid is issuing a stern warning that unless more Britons receive booster shots, the variant will only continue to spread, and double in cases every two to three days. 

Last week, the nation's leaders enacted strict masking, work from home and vaccine passport orders in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. 

In South Africa, where the variant was first detected, cases continue to grow, and the nation will likely break a record for highest daily case average at some point this week. 

While Omicron cases in the U.S. are growing, they have been relatively mild, and not a single death in the country has been attributed to it yet.

A report published last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the first 43 cases of the variant detected in America.

Only one was severe enough to require hospitalization, and that person was discharged after only two days.

It matched initial reports from South African officials that cases of the variant were mild compared to those of the Delta variant or other Covid strains.

Still, the data is only preliminary, and with a relatively small sample size.

Many of the people being infected are fully vaccinated as well, meaning their body is more likely to be able to combat the virus anyways.

The Omicron variant's ability to cause these cases in fully vaccinated people has some worried, though. 

Last week, Pfizer, who partners with BioNTech to produce and distribute the nation's more commonly used vaccine, announced it had preliminary data showing its jab is less effective at preventing infection from the new strain.

The data also showed that a Covid booster shot would re-establish protection against the variant.

Health officials are now pushing for more Americans to receive COVID-19 boosters as soon as possible, with Dr Anthony Fauci , the nation's top infectious disease expert, even saying last week the definition of 'fully vaccinated' would likely change soon to only include people who have received the additional shot. 

He also introduced the idea of a fourth shot being needed within the coming months, a sentiment shared by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. analysis published Monday finds that around 16 percent of Americans have received Covid boosters, with states like Maine and Vermont leading the pack with 28 percent of residents vaccinated.

Alabama has the lowest booster rate among the 41 states included in the analysis, with only nine percent of residents having received the additional shot.

While the Omicron variant has captured headlines in recent weeks, the Delta variant still accounts for around 99 percent of new cases in the U.S., and is still rapidly spreading nationwide.

The U.S. is currently recording 119,000 new Covid cases every day, a staggering 43 percent increase over the past two weeks. 

It is likely that the country hits 50 million recorded cases of the virus since the pandemic first began in March 2020 within the coming days.

America is also staring down a grim Covid deaths milestone, as it slowly creeps towards 800,000 deaths from the virus.

Currently, the nation is averaging nearly 1,300 Covid deaths every day, a 32 percent increase within the last two weeks.

Hospitalizations related to Covid are growing as well, with 65,000 people receiving treatment for more severe cases every day - a 23 percent increase of the last 14 days.

According to official CDC data, 72 percent of Americans have received at lease one dose of a Covid vaccine, while 60 percent are fully vaccinated. 

The current situation in the UK could be a sign of things to come in the U.S. if more Americans do not get the shots.

The nation is currently averaging 50,000 new cases per day, a mark not reached since a massive Covid surge struck in early 2021.

More than 4,700 cases of the variant have been sequenced in the UK, leading the rest of the world.

Minister Javid warns that there could be up one million Omicron cases by the end of the year if the spread is not controlled. 

In London, the capital city, experts believe the variant makes up around 40 percent of new infections, and that Omicron will become the dominant strain within the coming days.

A staggering 700 out of every 100,000 people in the area have tested positive for the virus within the past week, officials report.

The country reported the first confirmed Omicron death on Monday morning as well. 

Some NHS leaders even told MailOnline lockdowns might have to return to the capital in order to control the virus's rampant spread. 

To control the situation, last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson enacted strict mandates.

Starting last Friday, Britons were ordered to work from home if they had a job that allowed so, to wear masks in many indoor public areas, and many venues will now require either proof of vaccine or negative test in order to enter.

Johnson also mobilized the military, a thousands strong volunteer force and and extended the operating hours of many clinics in the nation to supercharge to countries booster rollout.

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