According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 300 million coronavirus cases in the world so far, as the U.S. Supreme Court was about to hold a special session on Friday to look at the Biden administration’s vaccine rules for private employers and healthcare workers.

The spread of the Omicron variant has pushed the global case-number milestone that was reached on Thursday even faster. At the start of this year, there were almost 10 million cases, up from 5.5 million at the end of last month, Johns Hopkins says.

The rise in cases could help people make the case that the measure is no longer a good way to tell how serious the coronavirus is. When the new Omicron strain comes out, it spreads a lot faster than the other strains. So far, it hasn’t been very dangerous, tho.

NewYork-Presbyterian CEO Steven Corwin said that fewer COVID-19 patients were in the ICU and on ventilators than in previous surges. This is because COVID-19 had a smaller number of patients than previous surges.

Dr. Corwin told the group of people, “About 50 percent are admitted with coronavirus cases.”

By February, New York state’s health commissioner said that the rate of infections was slowing down. She also said that she hoped it would be over by then.

“We know that this is a lot less harsh than the other ones.” Those are the numbers that you’ve been hearing.

World-wide COVID- Even tho the number of cases has gone up, 19 people have died in the last few weeks. In many countries, coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise, but they still make up less of the total number of cases than in the past.

If the Supreme Court rules that the Biden administration can enforce vaccine and testing rules for large private employers and a vaccine mandate for most health care workers on Friday, they will do so.

Booster shots will be required for health care workers in New York to protect them from the new coronavirus cases, Gov. Kathy Hochul said. Since late September, the state has made it a requirement for health care workers to have had at least one vaccine dose.

Los Angeles County set a new record on Thursday when it reported just over 37,000 new infections of coronavirus cases. The Omicron variant has been blamed for the surge in infections. This is a new record: there were about 27,000 cases on December 31.

Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said. Many new patients with COVID-19 are also seeking treatment for other illnesses. Today, 45 percent of hospital patients who have COVID-19 are being treated for COVID-related conditions. This compares to 75% who had COVID-19 in early November.

The Defense Department this week gave two contracts to logistics company Goldbelt Security LLC and health-technology company Revival Health Inc. The Biden administration is starting to buy 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests, which will be sent to people who request them later this month. Contracts are likely to be given out in the next few days.

On Friday, the German government and the leaders of the country’s 16 federal states came up with new ways to deal with the wave of infections caused by the Omicron virus. They made it more difficult for people to go to bars and restaurants unless they showed proof of having been vaccinated or having had an infection recently. In some entertainment and other places, this rule is also in place.

Under the new rules, only people who have had their third, or booster dose, would be able to go into bars, restaurants, and other indoor places. People who have been fully vaccinated without a booster would also have to show that they didn’t have the virus.

In France, next week, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would keep people who haven’t been vaccinated from going to restaurants, cafes, and other public places like schools and parks. The law is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make people who haven’t been vaccinated so angry that they have to get the shot. This winter, the country hasn’t had to go into lockdown because of a lot of people getting shots.