Fueled by the Omicron variant, worldwide coronavirus cases reached a daily record on Monday as nearly 1.5 million infections were reported, according to data from Bloomberg.

Omicron has gained notoriety for being the most contagious variant to date and is becoming the world's most dominant strain, seemingly infecting both the vaccinated and unvaccinated with ease since it was first identified last month in South Africa.

Reuters reports that the average number of emerging coronavirus cases in the U.S. has increased by 45% over the past week to almost 180,000 daily.

 According to Canadian television network Global News, the surge of Omicron cases has put the nation over 2 million total reported cases to date, prompting Canada to put new restrictions in place. 

CNBC reported on Christmas Day that the U.K. had also reported a record number of daily cases on Dec. 24, at 122,186. 

According to recent studies, Omicron spreads much faster than previous strains and is around 70% more infectious, although it is less likely to cause severe symptoms. 

The rapid spread of Omicron has also pushed airlines around the world to cancel over 4,500 flights during the Christmas weekend, Reuters reported. Almost 10,000 additional flights experienced delays. 

The CDC released a media statement Monday confirming that it “​​is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.”