COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida top 7,600

The explosive increase in U.S. coronavirus case counts is raising alarm, but some experts believe the focus should instead be on COVID-19 hospital admissions. And those aren’t climbing as fast.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, for one, said Sunday on ABC that with many infections causing few or no symptoms, "it is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases." Other experts argue that case counts still have value.

With the omicron variant continuing to cause a spike in cases, the number of Florida hospital inpatients with COVID-19 has topped 7,600. 

RELATED: COVID case counts may be losing importance amid omicron

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released data Wednesday that showed 7,647 Florida inpatients had COVID-19, up from 6,914 on Tuesday. Wednesday’s total also was nearly double the 3,836 inpatients from a week earlier. 

The data Wednesday also showed that 843 Florida COVID-19 patients were in intensive-care units, up from 443 a week earlier. 

While the hospitalization numbers have steadily increased as the omicron variant has spread, they remain below totals during the summer when the delta variant of the coronavirus hit the state.

Omicron accounted for 95% of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday, in another indication of how astonishingly fast the variant has spread since it was first detected in South Africa in late November.

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