Omicron wave could arrive as soon as January, CDC warns

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned an increase in omicron cases in the United States may be a prelude to a surge peaking as early as January.

Omicron accounted for 2.9% of COVID-19 cases across the country last week, up from 0.4% the week before, according to CDC projections released yesterday, a sharp increase, experts say.

CDC officials warned of two possible scenarios in a briefing Tuesday with state and local health officials and representatives of public health labs across the nation — the first was a tidal wave of infections coming mid-winter, the second was a smaller surge in the spring. It is still unclear which forecast is more likely.

Meanwhile, health researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina detected the first three cases of the omicron variant in South Carolina this week.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 820 total cases of COVID-19 Dec. 15, with 512 confirmed. A total of 12 new deaths, with 6 confirmed, were also reported.

With 12,940 tests reported today, 6.1% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 64.1%
Percentage of of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 55.6%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 9.8%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 5.0%