The United States is averaging greater than 300,000 new reported cases per day for the primary time, though hospitalization numbers are considerably much less gloomy.
A USA TODAY evaluation of Johns Hopkins University information reveals the nation reported 2.11 million cases within the seven-day interval ending Wednesday, a rise of 82% over the earlier week because the omicron variant, vacation gatherings and frenzied testing helped push numbers larger.
Forty-seven states present rising case counts and 15 states reported their highest-ever counts: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington and Puerto Rico.
The nationwide tempo of hospital admissions for probably COVID-19 sufferers was up 20.7% from every week earlier, alarming however far decrease than the leap in infections. Experts say early information signifies omicron may not be as extreme as earlier variants. That and the rise in vaccinated Americans have had an impression – the variety of Americans now within the hospital with COVID-19 is working at round 65,000, or about half the quantity in January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
And Dr. Anthony Fauci stated the common keep in the course of the present surge at a serious South African hospital is about 4 days, down from 8.Eight days in earlier surges. The numbers are much like different preliminary reviews, Fauci stated.
“The pattern and disparity between cases and hospitalization strongly suggests that there will be a lower hospitalization to case ratio when the situation becomes more clear,” Fauci stated.
Also within the information:
► More than 1,000 flights had been canceled early Thursday and one other 1,500 had been delayed because the U.S. airline trade continued to wrestle staffing planes amid the newest surge that has sidelined hundreds of trade employees. There have been greater than 8,000 cancellations and greater than 38,000 delays inside, to or from the U.S. since Christmas Eve – tied to winter climate and COVID-related staffing shortages – in accordance with flight-tracking web site FlightAware.
► The world set a brand new record for cases Wednesday – 1.73 million reported in a day – bringing case counts to 7.33 million for the seven-day interval, the primary time the common has been above greater than 1 million per day. Global case counts are up 48% from the earlier week.
► Americans had been urged by the CDC to avoid travel to Sweden and other European destinations due to excessive charges of COVID-19.
📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 53.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and greater than 822,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 284.6 million cases and 5.4 million deaths. More than 205 million Americans – 61.9% – are totally vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re studying: Next month, Americans will be capable to request free assessments from a web site, and kits shall be mailed to properties. The web site, and different particulars about how and when the assessments shall be distributed, haven’t been launched. Experts urge that insurers work with pharmacies to make the assessments free to shoppers up entrance.
New York City is forging forward with modified plans for its annual New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square on Friday regardless of record numbers of COVID-19 cases throughout town and nationwide. In 2020, revelers had been banned from the celebration on account of the pandemic, and solely important employees, media members and police had been at Times Square because the ball dropped. This yr, town would require revelers to point out proof of vaccination and photograph ID and to put on masks. The occasion usually hosts 58,000 individuals, however this yr shall be restricted to about 15,000 attendees and will not permit entry till three p.m. ET, de Blasio introduced final week.
“We want to show that we’re moving forward, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this,” Mayor Bill de Blasio stated Thursday on NBC’s TODAY Show.
– Christine Fernando
A Michigan college instructor touring over the vacations voluntarily isolated in an airplane’s tiny bathroom for five hours after testing optimistic for COVID-19 mid-flight. Marisa Fotieo was on a flight to Iceland from Chicago on Dec. 20 when her throat started to harm, TODAY reported. With fast check kits useful, Fotieo determined to take one “and within what felt like two seconds” found she was optimistic for the virus. She filmed what it was wish to quarantine within the tiny quarters in a video that drew over 4 million views on TikTok. She later remoted once more on the Red Cross lodge in Iceland.
“There’s 150 people on the flight, and my biggest fear was giving it to them,” she informed TODAY.
– Asha C. Gilbert
Federal officers are defending the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s determination to chop to 5 days – from 10 days – the quantity of advisable time individuals should isolate after testing optimistic for the coronavirus. Some have rejoiced within the shortened isolation interval, whereas others have criticized the choice, arguing the CDC turned its again on science and bowed to enterprise pursuits.
The announcement got here days after Delta Airline’s CEO publicly requested the CDC for a shorter isolation interval, and within the midst of hundreds of canceled flights, which airways have blamed on staffing shortages due to the newest surge in coronavirus infections.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated the brand new advice is backed by science. The most quantity of COVID-19 transmission occurs within the one or two days previous to creating signs and within the two to 3 days after creating signs, Walensky stated – totaling 5 days. The determination is backed by behavioral science, too, she stated.
“It really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate,” Walensky informed CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
Some skilled associations have pushed again on the brand new tips, saying they will be dangerous to employees. The American Nurses Association urged the CDC to rethink its determination, saying steering “is especially problematic when reliable testing is not widely available, and particularly difficult to access in places experiencing surge conditions.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s prime infectious illness professional, warned Americans to steer clear of large-scale New Year’s events and go for small gatherings with vaccinated and boosted individuals.
“If you were in a situation with a family setting, in your home, with family – parents, children, grandparents – and everyone is vaccinated and boosted, although the risk is never zero in anything, the risk is low enough that we feel you should continue to go through with those plans,” Fauci stated throughout a information briefing Wednesday.
Cities world wide have canceled their giant New Year’s Eve celebrations amid the fast unfold of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. New York City put an attendance cap of 15,000 on its annual Times Square celebration and would require proof of vaccination. Events in Los Angeles and Seattle have additionally been canceled.
“If your plans are to go to a 40- or 50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a Happy New Year, I would strongly recommend that this year we do not do that,” Fauci stated.
In anticipation of steep challenges reopening faculties amid an omicron-driven surge of infections, districts are planning to ramp up COVID-19 testing when lessons resume in January. New testing methods come as COVID-19 infections and pediatric hospitalizations have shot up in a handful of states, particularly within the Northeast. With a record variety of cases, even amongst totally vaccinated people, college leaders are anxious not solely the well being of workers and college students, but in addition about the flexibility to remain open if too many workers fall prey to sickness or quarantine. Read more here.
“We are moving closer to a safe reopening of school next week,” Michael Mulgrew, head of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City faculties, stated. “But we are not there yet.”
– Erin Richards
Testing optimistic for COVID-19 begins a complicated, disruptive and at instances scary course of – one which thousands and thousands of Americans will probably undergo within the coming week.
First, you could isolate. That’s a extra intense model of quarantining – it means reducing off contact with different individuals as a lot as potential so that you cut back the possibility of infecting them. This additionally means forgoing journey, not going to work and even limiting contact with individuals in your individual family who aren’t contaminated.
The CDC says isolating is a essential step whether or not you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated, and whether or not you’ve gotten signs or really feel effective.
Everyone who assessments optimistic for COVID-19 ought to monitor their signs. And people who find themselves unvaccinated or at excessive threat for extreme illness must be extra-vigilant for signs which may require emergency care. Call your physician for early therapy choices.
How lengthy do you have to isolate? How lengthy will I be contagious? What if you’re in shut contact with somebody who examined optimistic? Here’s what you should know about omicron and COVID-19 this holiday season.
Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY; The Associated Press