COVID cases are on the rise in all but six states and Washington, D.C., as the Omicron subvariant continues to spread across the U.S.

The big picture: Case rates and hospitalizations are still well below pandemic highs, prompting NIAID director Anthony Fauci to say this week that the nation is out of a “full-blown explosive pandemic phase.”

By the numbers: There were roughly 51,000 new daily cases over the last week, up 51% from two weeks ago.

The highest reported case rates were in Vermont, where there were 45.5 new cases per 100,000 people. Rhode Island and New York had 35.4 and 33.3 new cases per 100,000 people, respectively. Cases were increasing in all three states.
The lowest reported case rates were in Mississippi where there were 3.0 new cases of COVID per 100,000 people. Georgia and Alabama reported 3.4 new cases and 3.6 new cases per 100,000 people, respectively. Mississippi and Georgia had declining case rates while Alabama saw a slight uptick.
Between the lines: COVID deaths are still falling. There were 362 deaths a day on average, down 23% from an average of about 470 deaths a day two weeks ago. But the decline in deaths slowed a bit.

The U.S. is approaching 1 million deaths from COVID since the start of the pandemic.
Reality check: As we mentioned last week, the data regarding new cases are getting less reliable as the public testing infrastructure continues to wind down and home test results are less likely to be reported to officials.

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