New COVID-19 cases in US soar to highest levels on record

In this photo taken by a drone, cars wait in long lines at a drive-up COVID-19 testing center at Tropical Park, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

CHICAGO — More than a year after the vaccine was rolled out, new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. have soared to their highest level on record at over 265,000 per day on average, a surge driven largely by the highly contagious omicron variant.