Omicron fuels spike in daily COVID cases as doctor calls for unvaccinated patients to be bumped to the back of the line

COVID cases in the US have soared by 38 per cent in the last 24 hours to 238,278 new infections as the Omicron variant continues to spread, with some states seeing cases rocket by up to 670%. 

Thursday's update in infection numbers from Johns Hopkins University saw diagnoses climb from 172,072 for the previous day. Deaths were also up slightly, from 2,093 yesterday to 2,204 today. 

Hospitalizations sit just under 63,000, including almost 16,000 COVID patients receiving intensive care treatment, according to analysis by the New York Times. That is an 11 per cent increase in two weeks, but still sits well below the winter 2020 peak of almost 130,000 Americans in hospital, 30,000 of whom were in ICU.