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Omicron not peaking nationally yet, surgeon general says; Djokovic leaves Australia after losing appeal: COVID-19 updates

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COVID-19 is sending mixed messages. The U.S. is recording over 800,000 cases a day for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, and hospitalizations are also setting records.

But New York State recorded only about 48,000 cases on Friday, almost a 47% drop from the previous week’s case count, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Saturday.

"We are turning the corner on the winter surge, but we're not through this yet," the governor said in a statement.

Minnesota also saw declining intensive-care hospitalizations for COVID-19, and cases have been falling in Washington D.C. and other cities in the eastern half of the country.

But New York’s declining trend is not indicative of the national COVID-19 portrait, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned on Sunday.

“The entire country is not moving at the same pace,” he told CNN host Jake Tapper.

Oklahoma and Georgia both saw over a 100% rise in weekly COVID-19 cases, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows, while Colorado saw a 90% increase.

“We shouldn’t expect a national peak in the next coming days,” he said. “The next feel weeks will be tough.”

Also in the news:

►The United States has reported its 850,000 death, Johns Hopkins University data shows. The U.S. averaged 1,776 reported deaths per day over the last week.

►The Biden administration on Wednesday will launch a website where Americans can order up to four free COVID-19 testing kits per person.

U.S. Rep. David Trone of Maryland announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Trone said he has received a booster and is experiencing "only minor symptoms," according to The Washington Post.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has signed an executive order requiring all government workers on the tribe’s vast reservation to receive a booster shot.

📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 65 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 850,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 326 million cases and over 5.5 million deaths. More than 208 million Americans – 62.9% – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

📘 What we're reading: Omicron is closing daycare centers in droves. Parents are "just trying to stay afloat." USA TODAY's Alia Wong explains.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY's free Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

US now averaging 800,000 new cases each day

The United States is reporting more than 800,000 cases a day for the first time, even amid signs that America's omicron wave is slowing down. The country reported 5.65 million cases in the week ending Saturday, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. The rapid acceleration of case reports continues despite a shortage of tests. Still, in just the last week the country has reported more cases than it did in March, April, May and June 2021 – combined.

About 158,500 Americans were reported hospitalized on Saturday. Hospitals in 46 states report rising numbers of patients; 34 states report rising death rates.

Mike Stucka

No. 1 ranked-tennis player Djokovic leaves Australia after losing appeal

Novak Djokovic, the world's No. 1-ranked tennis player, flew out of Australia on Sunday after losing his appeal to avoid deportation and play in the Australian Open. Australia's immigration minister, Alex Hawke, canceled Djokovic's visa on Friday, a decision upheld by an Australian court.

"I welcome today’s unanimous decision by the Full Federal Court of Australia, upholding my decision to exercise my power under the Migration Act to cancel Mr Novak Djokovic’s visa in the public interest," Hawke tweeted Sunday. "I can confirm that Mr Djokovic has now departed Australia."

Djokovic, 34, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling but respected it. He was scheduled to play Monday, but will be replaced by a "lucky loser" from a qualifying tournament. The Serb has won a record nine Australian Open titles, including three in a row. A deportation order usually includes a three-year ban on returning to Australia, which puts any attempt to play the tournament in the future in doubt.

Djokovic was initially granted a waiver to enter the country despite being unvaccinated. But the waiver quickly drew an angry response from many Australians.

Health insurers must cover testing under new rule

A federal rule requiring health insurers cover at-home testing took effect Saturday, one of a number of recent moves aimed at curbing cases in the U.S. amid a record-breaking wave of COVID-19 infections.

The wave showed signs of peaking last week, but most states are still reporting rising cases in the past seven days.

Federal agencies have also moved toward recommending higher quality masks, and the Biden administration is poised to launch a website where Americans can order free COVID-19 testing kits.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID omicron variant has not yet peaked in the United States

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