KEY POINTS

  • New daily Omicron cases in New York fell to 47,000 Friday
  • The District of Columbia has seen a 20% decrease in Omicron infections
  • Hospitalizations are still at record levels nationally

COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant have begun to drop in New York and Washington D.C., offering states battling surging infections a glimmer of hope. 

In New York, Omicron cases continued trending downward Friday with health officials reporting 47,780 new infections. In comparison, the state reported 90,132 new cases on Jan. 7. 

The state’s seven-day rolling positivity rate fell to 17.59% Friday from a peak rate of 23% on Jan. 3. In the city of New York, the positivity rate dropped to 18.45%. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 also dropped to 12,169 statewide.

“[The state] is turning the corner on the winter surge,” Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., said during a media briefing. "It is still very high, but this will eventually catch up with the trend that is just beginning."

Omicron COVID-19 cases in the District of Columbia in Washington have also fallen by 20% since Jan. 2, according to an analysis of data by CNN. 

The drop in COVID-19 cases in these states raises the possibility that the Omicron variant could be peaking in the United States. However, hospitalizations are still at record levels nationally, with 152,272 patients admitted as of Friday, data from the Department of Health and Human Services showed.

The country is also reporting approximately 800,000 new infections daily, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned Sunday. 

“It’s why it’s so important that we all double down on precautions that we’re taking because one thing that we’re learning during this surge, is that our vaccines are still working very well to keep people out of the hospital and to save their lives,” Murthy said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

As of Sunday, only 62.9% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 74.9% of Americans have received at least one dose. This means more than 1 in 5 Americans eligible to receive the vaccine shots have yet to get any dose.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also showed that only 38.1% have received a booster dose.

The U.S. has recorded a total of 65,698,495 COVID-19 cases and 850,605 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.  

A worker who cleans debris walks outside the scene after a deadly fire at an apartment building in the Bronx, on January 9, 2022, in New York A worker who cleans debris walks outside the scene after a deadly fire at an apartment building in the Bronx, on January 9, 2022, in New York Photo: AFP / Ed JONES