The Weekly Digest collects the most engaging data points and visuals from recent USAFacts stories. Dive into each report for more metrics, or skim here for a quick understanding of the numbers behind the news.

Omicron in four charts

The Omicron COVID-19 variant set off an unprecedented increase in cases and hospitalizations nationwide — and after a fall season in which the Delta variant hit the American health care system hard. The latest government data shows how this variant is infecting more young people than previous waves.

The young adult age group had the largest case surge at the end of 2021.

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  • On January 10, an average of 25,285 adults were hospitalized daily with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. The previous peak was one year prior: 24,284 daily hospitalizations in January 2021. 
  • More children are also going to the hospital. An average of 1,612 children were hospitalized daily with confirmed or suspected cases on January 10. The previous pediatric hospitalization peak was 1,092 daily in September 2021.

Changes in death rates usually follow changes in case rates.

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  • The current two-week average of 592,000 cases is 175% higher than two weeks ago. However, the two-week average of COVID-19 deaths is down 91%. In previous surges, deaths increased a few weeks after a rise in cases — whether that will happen with Omicron remains to be seen.

Explore more charts and data on this variant in this new report.

Dive into updated data

The USAFacts data pages enable readers to compare trends and interact with visualizations to better understand the government's impact on the American people. We've updated dozens of pages with the latest data available, ranging from 2019 to 2021, depending on the topic. Here is a sample of what's new.

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Explore the data pages for even more, including disaster declarations in your state2020 border apprehensionsdeaths of armed service members, and many nonpartisan numbers on a variety of issues impacting American life.

Tracking voting rights

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For years, Dr. King organized to secure African Americans' fair access to the ballot box. And last week, President Joe Biden gave a speech in Dr. King's hometown of Atlanta to urge Congress to pass voting rights legislation. Given both events, we wanted to reshare this article on the more than 30 states that have changed voting laws since the 2020 election. Scroll through the story to see where states have lengthened or shortened the window for mailing in ballots, proposed voter signature bills, and more.

One last fact

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It's taken over Facebook and Instagram, and now USAFacts is joining the #10YearChallenge. In 2019 (the year with the latest data available), federal, state, and local government spending was half a trillion more than spending for the 10 years prior. See more 10-year comparisons throughout the week at USAFacts on Instagram.

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