US faces wave of omicron deaths in coming weeks, models say

The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, yet COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing.

Modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die by the time the omicron wave subsides this spring.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been trending upward since mid-November.

COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents started rising slightly two weeks ago, although still at a rate 10 times less than last year before most residents were vaccinated.

The unprecedented level of infection means vulnerable people will become severely sick. But the notion that a milder disease on average could still take thousands of lives is difficult for health experts to convey.