The U.S. Tuesday logged its highest single-day total of new COVID-19 cases, with 441,278 infections crushing the previous daily record by almost 150,000.

The CDC’s tally represents a grim milestone in the pandemic and comes as the Omicron variant has ran through the country.

A CDC spokesperson said the case total is likely an “overestimate” due to lagging state reporting.

“The counts of cases will become more stable after the new year,” the CDC spokesperson said.


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Health officials logged more than 291,000 new cases on December 20, nearly eclipsing the previous record of 294,015 set in the pre-vaccine last winter. The country averaged 240,408 new cases per day over the past week.

The CDC also revised its estimate for Omicron’s prevalence, nixing a previous estimate that the variant accounted for 73.2% of cases on December 18 to 22.5%. The agency’s latest estimates say Omicron makes up about 58.6% of U.S. cases as of Christmas Day.

The rise in cases has prompted the Biden administration to implement a plan which includes delivering 500 million free rapid tests to Americans.

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