American Coronavirus: Between Christmas and New Years Doctors Expect Omicron Outbreak to Increase

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The United States now registers an average of 198,404 new cases of Covid-19 each day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Sunday. That’s 47% more than a week ago and the highest number since January 19.

“I think we’re going to see half a million cases a day – easy – over the next 10-day week,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner told CNN on Sunday.

About 71,000 Americans were hospitalized with Covid-19 on Sunday, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

And an average of 1,408 Americans died from Covid-19 each day during the week ending Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins. This is an increase of 17% from the previous week.

With the highly contagious variant of Omicron, “We’re definitely going to continue to see an increase (in cases) for quite some time,” Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN on Monday.

Looking ahead to New Years Eve on Friday, small gatherings of fully vaccinated people will be safe, Fauci said. But he advised people to avoid major holidays where they don’t know the immunization status of all guests.

“When you talk about a New Years party where you have 30, 40, 50 people celebrating, you don’t know the vaccination status, I highly recommend you: avoid that this year,” Fauci said, the director. of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

“There will be other years to do it. But not this year.”

More and more children are hospitalized with Covid-19

Pediatric hospitalizations linked to Covid-19 continue to increase and are approaching the record set in early September.

For the week ending December 24, an average of 262 children were hospitalized with Covid-19 on any given day, according to data from DHHS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s almost a 35% jump from the previous week. The record daily average of Covid-19 child hospitalizations was 342 per day in late August and early September.

New York City Enacts New Vaccine Mandate

New York State broke a one day record for new cases of Covid-19, with 49,708 new cases of Covid-19 reported on Christmas Eve, according to data published Sunday by the office of Governor Kathy Hochul.

“As we return from holiday gatherings, it is more important than ever to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 this season,” Hochul said in a statement. “The vaccine is the best tool we have to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe as the New Year approaches.”

Travel to New York during Covid-19: what you need to know before you go
The average number of new daily Covid-19 cases in New York City has skyrocketed 644% in the past two weeks to 19,268, according to to the New York Times.
The highly contagious variant of Omicron was a factor in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to implement a vaccine mandate for private sector employees, effective Monday. the updated rules require workers to have at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by Monday and not allow employees to withdraw through regular testing.

Children aged 5 to 11 in New York City are now also required to show proof of at least one shot before being allowed into indoor dining, fitness or entertainment venues. And adults must show proof of two vaccinations for those areas.

Private sector requirements align with those already in place for public sector employees in the city and similar restrictions in major cities across the country.

“We have to take very bold steps,” said de Blasio. “We are seeing restrictions start to come back. We are seeing closures,” he said. “We can’t let these restrictions revert. We can’t have closures in New York.”

The city is still planning a “reduced” New Year’s celebration.

Healthcare workers receive new guidance on isolation – but not others

As more hospitals are overwhelmed, the CDC has released new guidelines that will allow some healthcare workers who receive Covid-19 to return to work faster. Medical workers who test positive but have no symptoms can return to work within seven days if they test negative within 48 hours of returning to work.
CDC shortens isolation time for some healthcare workers
That “isolation time can be further reduced if there are staff shortages”, the CDC said Thursday.
But the new guidelines apply only to healthcare workers. For the general public, the CDC still recommends people isolated from Covid-19 for 10 days, whether or not they are showing symptoms.
The CDC said it “continues to assess the isolation and quarantine recommendations for the entire population as we learn more about the Omicron variant and update the audience as appropriate. “
the emergency advice for healthcare workers was made due to concerns about the Omicron variant and potential staff shortages, the CDC said.
About 75% of all intensive care beds nationwide were in use and about 21% were occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to Sunday data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

At Tufts Medical Center in Boston, the CDC’s new directive was good news.

“We have 115 staff members sick with Covid this morning who have tested positive,” COO Diana Richardson said on Monday.

“But some of them are not that seriously ill. In fact, some of them are completely asymptomatic – we have a highly vaccinated population. So that will help us get these people back into the workforce.”

Vacationers stranded as Omicron skyrockets

Thousands of flights were canceled over the holiday weekend – in part due to winter conditions, but in large part due to downsizing of airline staff, with employees reporting ill.
Travel nightmare: 2,000 additional flights canceled on Monday
More than 2,000 flights were canceled on Monday, according to the FlightAware flight tracking site. This is in addition to the approximately 1,200 Sunday flights that were canceled.
And at least four ocean-going cruise ships were turned away from ports or banned from allowing passengers to disembark last week due to cases of Covid-19 on board.
Sporting events have also been postponed or canceled due to the increased spread of Covid-19. At least five college football games have been affected, including two games canceled this weekend. Professional basketball and hockey have also been slowed down by the virus.

The best way to protect yourself against serious illness is to get vaccinated and get vaccinated, Fauci said.

“Boosters are always good for any variant, but especially for Omicron,” he said.

“If you have been vaccinated and have not yet received a booster, and it is time to do so, please do so. It will make all the difference in preventing you from contracting serious illness. “

CNN’s Virginia Langmaid, Deidre McPhillips, Artemis Moshtaghian, Jacqueline Howard, Veronica Stracqualursi, Pete Muntean, Aaron Cooper, Wayne Sterling and Jill Martin contributed to this report.


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