Rising COVID-19 cases are driving up the use of therapeutics, with Pfizer Inc.’s oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid seeing a 315 percent jump over the past four weeks, U.S. health officials said on May 17.

The BA.2 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus is responsible for 86% of U.S. COVID-19 cases and more than 90% of infections in the Northeast, according to data on April 12 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A winter storm that blasted the U.S. Northeast with snow, rain and gusty winds was likely to dump a foot (30 cm) or more of snow on parts of New England before heading out to sea.

The United States set single-day records for new infections and deaths as California’s governor said he would impose some of the nation’s strictest stay-at-home orders in the coming days when intensive care units are expected to reach capacity.

U.S. health officials and politicians pleaded with Americans to stay at home over the Thanksgiving holiday and abide by constraints placed on social and economic life as record coronavirus caseloads pushed hospitals to their limits.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams pleaded with Americans to grasp “the severity of the moment” and remain vigilant against the coronavirus pandemic, as record hospitalizations pushed healthcare professionals to the brink.

The U.S. death toll from Covid-19 surpassed a grim new milestone of 250,000 lives lost as New York City’s public school system – the nation’s largest – called a halt to in-classroom instruction, citing a jump in coronavirus infection rates.

Chicago’s mayor issued a month-long stay-at-home advisory, and Detroit’s public schools called a halt to in-person instruction to curb the spread of the coronavirus as more than a dozen U.S. states reported a doubling of new Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks.

The United States continued to notch up grim records while battling through the coronavirus pandemic, with a worsening outbreak in the northeastern part of the country adding pressure on top of an already-reeling Midwest.

The coronavirus pandemic raged across the United States as the country elected a new president, with the daily number of new infections hitting record highs for four straight days.