The United States on Tuesday set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, with more than 145,000 people in the hospital with the virus.
The 145,982 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Department of Health and Human Services data, surpasses the previous peak of about 142,000 people set in January 2021, during a major winter surge before vaccines were widely available.
People who are vaccinated and especially those who received their booster shots are well protected against severe disease and hospitalization from the virus. But the sheer number of cases of COVID-19, fueled by the highly transmissible omicron variant, means that even a small percentage leading to hospitalization causes a surge that strains hospitals.
The hospitalizations are driven in large part by people who are unvaccinated.