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CDC Says Omicron Already Accounts For 73% Of US COVID-19 Cases

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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In just two weeks, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has already become dominant in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seventy-three percent of cases tracked during the week from Dec. 12 to Dec. 18 were Omicron, the agency reported Monday. That’s an increase from just 0.7% during the week of Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.

The Delta variant accounted for 26.6% of cases. “I anticipate that over time that delta will be crowded out by omicron,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said.

Some experts predicted it would take longer, possibly up to six to eight weeks, for Omicron to become dominant. The first confirmed case of the variant in the U.S. was identified on Dec. 1.

The CDC added that the variant makes up more than 90% of cases in some regions of the country, including the northeast, southeast and the pacific northwest. (RELATED: Doctor Says COVID Cases Have Started Dropping In South African Province Where Omicron First Hit)

While nationwide cases are surging upward, deaths are not increasing at nearly the same rate, potentially due to the fact that Omicron appears to cause less serious disease in many patients than previous variants.