COVID Omicron Updates: Variant may be headed for a rapid drop in US

NEW YORK (WABC) – Scientists are seeing signals that the alarming omicron wave from COVID-19 may have peaked in Britain and is set to do the same in the United States, in which case the cases could start to drop dramatically.

The reason: The variant has been shown to be so contagious that it may already be running low on people to infect, just a month and a half after it was first detected in South Africa.

“It’s going to go down as fast as it has gone up,” said Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics science at the University of Washington in Seattle.

At the same time, experts warn that much is still uncertain about how the next phase of the pandemic might unfold. The peak or the ebb in the two countries is not happening everywhere at the same time or at the same rate. And weeks or months of misery still await overwhelmed patients and hospitals even if the downturn occurs.

Take a look at cases and hospitalizations in New York:

RELATED: What Are the Symptoms of the COVID Omicron Variant?

Here are other headlines from today’s COVID-19:

No change to mandate for school masks after Nassau County executive order
A week after Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman signed an executive order allowing school boards to decide whether students wear masks in schools, no school district has changed its mask policy.

Blakeman said school board members privately told him they felt threatened by Governor Kathy Hochul and state officials.

When am i contagious with omicron infection?
When am i contagious with omicron infection? It’s not yet clear, but some early data suggests people may become contagious sooner than with earlier variants – perhaps within a day of infection. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with the coronavirus are most contagious in the days before and after symptoms appear. But that window of time could happen sooner with omicron, some outside experts say. That’s because omicron seems to cause symptoms faster than previous variants – around three days after infection, on average, according to preliminary studies. Based on previous data, this means that people with omicron could start to become contagious as soon as a day after infection.

3,000 United Airlines employees tested positive for COVID
United Airlines has said it is cutting its flight schedule in hopes of stemming COVID-related staff shortages that have caused thousands of flight cancellations in the industry. In a new company-wide memo, CEO Scott Kirby said the airline “is cutting back our hours in the short term to ensure that we have the staff and resources to take care of customers. “. Kirby did not say how much the airline is cutting back on flights. But the memo added that “the surge of omicron has strained our operations, causing disruption to customers during a busy vacation period.” He then thanked the employees for their professionalism in managing delays.

CDC Says It Will Update Mask “Info”
The CDC said it plans to update its information on masks to “best reflect the multiple options available to people and the different levels of protection they offer.” The CDC has not specified when its guidelines will be updated. In the meantime, the CDC said in a statement, “Any mask is better than no mask, and we encourage Americans to wear a properly fitted mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” Since the arrival of omicron, health experts have urged Americans to upgrade their cloth masks to an N95 or KN95 because the new variant is so highly transmissible. But these premium masks are expensive and hard to find.

Several states issue declarations of emergency
Governors of several states are issuing emergency declarations because the omicron variant is depleting vital healthcare resources. The CDC says the variant now accounts for 98% of all new cases, and new figures, representing the backlog over the weekend, show the United States to have a record 1.4 million cases in a single daytime. The CDC has determined that unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized than vaccinated Americans.

Virginia has issued a 30-day state of emergency to help healthcare facilities increase beds and staff, while New Jersey and Washington, DC, are also under emergency orders. Maryland, Maine and Massachusetts all lean on the National Guard as record numbers of COVID patients flood hospitals.

Police: nurse in Italy caught faking gunfire and abandoned vaccine
Italian police have arrested a nurse for faking the coronavirus vaccination of at least 45 people so that they can get a health pass without getting vaccinated. The nurse threw the vaccines in a trash can and even put bandages on her “patients” so that the scam was not detected. Police in Ancona, on Italy’s east coast, also placed four suspected accomplices under house arrest, accusing them of finding anti-vaccine clients willing to pay for a health passport rather than being vaccinated. Forty-five people who allegedly received the manufactured passes are under investigation.

Stay at home or work ill? Omicron poses a conundrum for workers without paid sick leave
As the unleashed omicron variant of COVID-19 infects workers across the country, millions of those whose jobs do not provide paid sick leave must choose between their health and their wages. While many companies instituted more robust sick leave policies early in the pandemic, some have since been scaled back with the vaccine rollout, even though omicron has managed to evade the gunfire. Meanwhile, the current labor shortage adds to the pressure of workers to decide whether to report to work due to illness if they cannot afford to stay home.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” said Daniel Schneider, professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. “As the workforce is running out because people are sick, it means those at work have more to do and are even more reluctant to call sick when they themselves fall ill. “

Federal authorities issue warnings over fake COVID-19 test kits
COVID-19 cases continue to increase dramatically, resulting in abruptly long queues at test sites and empty shelves in stores where rapid home test kits were once in stock. Now, one more problem has arisen: The Federal Trade Commission is warning against fraudulent test kits being sold online to desperate customers.

Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the CDC determined that the unvaccinated were 17% more likely to be hospitalized. This article has been updated to say 17 times more likely.


Symptoms of the Omicron variant: what to know even if you have been vaccinated
New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking
Coronavirus Disease Control and Prevention Centers

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