People line up for a free COVID-19 rapid test at a gas station in the Reseda section of Los Angeles on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, as California braces for a post-holiday virus surge. (AP photo)
The United States recorded a new record high Tuesday, with over 500,000 new COVID-19 cases reported, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The country logged 512,553 infections, breaking the all-time record of 294,015 that was set on Jan. 8, according to the database.
According to CNN and The Washington Post, the rapid rise in cases is because of a surge of the omicron variant, with Tuesday marking a seven-day average of 253,245 cases being reported.
The latest COVID-19 report passed the previous 7-day average daily high of 248,209 set on Jan. 12, according to the two news outlets.
There has seen a rapid acceleration in new cases since late November in the US. Hospitalizations and deaths have not seen a similar rise in pace, but these are lagging indicators that may drag weeks behind case increases.
California also set a record Tuesday as they became the first state to record over 5 million known COVId infections.
Meanwhile, the number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 is also increasing.
The cases among US children are "extremely high and increasing," according to a latest report of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Childrenís Hospital Association.
Over 7.5 million children have been infected with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in the US, representing 1 in 10 American children.
For the week ending December 23, almost 199,000 child COVID-19 cases were logged, representing a 50 percent rise over the weekly new cases in the beginning of December. This marked the 20th consecutive week child COVID-19 cases above 100,000.
Since the first week of September, the US has reported over 2.5 million additional child cases, according to the AAP.
The total number of US deaths increased to just over 820,000 on Tuesday, including 1,762 on Monday. US deaths are nearly 15% of the total global death toll of 5.4 million, in spite of the US being about 4% of the worldís population.
Meanwhile, the Omicron variant was estimated to be 58.6% of the coronavirus variants circulating in the United States for the week ending Dec. 25, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).