NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Omicron variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States, displacing the previously dominant Delta variant.

The Omicron variant is accounting for nearly three-quarters of all cases right now. Health experts said what makes Omicron unique is it spreads so quickly.

Tennessee ranked No. 4 in COVID-19 deaths during the first week of December, according to HealthData.gov.

The Tennessee Department of Health website shows there are just over 1,100 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, up from 34 the previous day.

The CDC said Omicron is hitting the northwest and southeast parts of the U.S. especially hard.

The White House said it’s prepared for the increase of COVID-19 cases.

President Biden is scheduled to give a speech Tuesday afternoon announcing new actions to protect Americans and help communities and hospitals battle Omicron, building on the plan he announced earlier this month to get people maximum protection ahead of the winter and prepare for rising cases driven by the new variant.

Biden detailed major changes to his COVID-19 winter plan, his hand forced by the fast-spreading variant, whose properties are not yet fully understood by scientists. Yet his message was clear that the winter holidays could be close to normal for the vaccinated while potentially dangerous for the unvaccinated.

 

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