On Tuesday (December 28), the country hit a seven-day average of 265,427 new Covid-19 cases — according to Johns Hopkins University data — passing its previous record of about 252,000 daily cases, reported on January 11.
The record number of cases comes amid "a rapid acceleration of infections" not only in the U.S. but around the world since last month, CNN reported.
The omicron variant — the most contagious strain of coronavirus yet — has fueled the winter wave of the virus as infections have greatly increased since it was first identified in late November.
Experts predict that cases will continue to rise in the New Year with CNN medical analyst, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, projecting the US to possibly see "half a million cases a day -- easy -- sometime over the next week to 10 days."
"January is going to be a really, really hard month," Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told the outlet. "People should just brace themselves for a month where lots of people are going to get infected."
"A lot of people who have not gotten a vaccine are going to end up getting pretty sick, and it's going to be pretty disruptive," Dr. Jha continued. "My hope is as we get into February and certainly by the time we get into March, infection numbers will come way down, and it'll also start getting (into) spring, and the weather will start getting better. And that will also help."
Dr. Jha also suggested that "people wear a higher quality mask any time they're in a place with lots of people and they're going to be indoors for any extended period of time."