Lifestyle Health United States Sets New Record for Positive COVID-19 Infections amid Omicron Surge The U.S. recorded a single-day record-breaking high of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention By Olivia Jakiel Olivia Jakiel Instagram Associate Editor, Nights – PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 29, 2021 12:30 AM Share Tweet Pin Email COVID-19 testing. Photo: Getty The United States passed a grim milestone on Tuesday, nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. recorded a single-day record-breaking high of over 441,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Dec. 27 amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant that's currently sweeping the nation. The reported totals surpassed the Jan. 8 record of over 298,000 new cases reported in a single day. The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. totals just over 240,000, per data from the CDC. The staggering number of cases brings the total amount recorded in the U.S. since January 2020 to nearly 53 million, with the total death toll rising to 816,239. Dr. Fauci Warns COVID-19 Omicron Variant Cases 'Likely Will Go Much Higher' After Holiday Surge COVID-19 test. Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Millions of Americans were affected by the alarming rise of cases over the holidays — and not only because themselves or loved ones were testing positive for the virus. United Airlines, Delta, and Alaskan Airlines all scrapped hundreds of flights ahead of Christmas Eve, citing the spread of the omicron variant as the reason for the sudden cancellations. On Monday, the CDC announced in a media statement that they were "shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. The recommendation comes amid "science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after." Texas Becomes First State in the U.S. to Surpass 1 Million Coronavirus Cases People who test positive for the virus should isolate and quarantine for five days and wear a mask around others if asymptomatic for the following five days. RELATED VIDEO: FDA Grants Full Approval to Pfizer's COVID Vaccine "The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC's updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in Monday's media statement. Added Walensky: "Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather." As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.