New York City is averaging 2,654 COVID cases a day, up 17% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker, a day after the city raised its COVID alert level to medium from low, signaling that cases are rising at an undesirably fast pace. In early March, the city was averaging about 600 cases day. The number may be even higher as many people are now testing at home and the data is not all being collected. COVID cases continue to rise across the U.S. after their steep decline early in the year, driven by the BA.2 variant of omicron, and two other subvariants that appear to be even more infectious. The two, named BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, were highlighted by health officials in New York State recently. The U.S. is averaging 60,953 cases a day, up 55% from two weeks ago. The country is averaging 17,220 hospitalizations a day, up 16% from two weeks ago, but still close to the lowest since the first weeks of the pandemic. The daily death toll has fallen below 400 to 331 on average. On a global basis, total cases are now above 514.2 million. Total deaths are above 6.23 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S. still leading the way with 81.4 million cases and 993,999 deaths.