To curb the spread of the new ommicron COVID-19 variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tightening testing requirements for international travelers.
Currently, air travelers to the United States who have not recently recovered from the virus — including U.S. citizens — must undergo a negative viral test before boarding their flight. Fully vaccinated travelers must take tests no later than three days before departure.
But the CDC said Tuesday it is “working to change” the global test order to give all international air travelers just one day to complete a pre-departure test, as first reported by The Washington Post.
“This reinforces already robust protocols for international travel,” the CDC said in a statement.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at an earlier press conference on Tuesday that the CDC was “evaluating how to make international travel as safe as possible,” which could mean shortening the pre-departure testing period or introducing additional post-arrival testing and a self-quarantine. added. period.
The agency says it continues to recommend that all travelers undergo a COVID-19 virus test three to five days after arrival and that unvaccinated travelers should be quarantined on arrival.
The US is also working to contain the spread of the virus with new travel bans against eight countries that came into effect on Monday. The ommicron variant has not yet been detected in the US
Also in the news:
►226 cases of omicron have been confirmed in at least 21 countries, including Great Britain, 11 European Union countries, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Canada and Israel.
►Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was placed in NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and was able to miss several games.
📈Today’s figures: The US has recorded more than 48 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 780,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 262.9 million cases and 5.2 million deaths. According to the CDC, nearly 197 million Americans — about 59.4% of the population — are fully vaccinated.
📘What we read: Are travel bans worth it? They could slow the spread of omicron, but they have consequences, experts say.
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The spread of the Omicron variant shows the world needs to be vaccinated
As the new ommicron coronavirus variant spreads around the world, proponents of more widespread vaccinations are having a “I told you so” moment. For a year since COVID-19 vaccines first became available, a small but vociferous group has warned of the need to protect the most vulnerable around the world. People in wealthier countries won’t be safe, even if they’re fully vaccinated, until those in poorer countries — which make up more than half of the world’s 8 billion population — also benefit from vaccines, they have argued.
“The emergence of the ommicron variant has precisely fulfilled the predictions of the scientists who warned that the increased transmission of the virus in areas with limited vaccine access would accelerate evolution,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett at a special session of the World Health Assembly this week. Read more here.
– Karen Weintraub
Evangelist, vaccine doubter Marcus Lamb died of coronavirus
Marcus Lamb, CEO of the evangelical Christian Daystar Television Network that advocated against vaccines, has died after battling COVID-19.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Marcus Lamb, president and founder of Daystar Television Network, has gone home this morning to be with the Lord,” the network tweeted Tuesday. “The family asks for respect for their privacy as they mourn this difficult loss. Please continue to lift them up in prayer.”
Lamb’s wife, Joni, said last week that her husband tried alternative treatments without success. Lamb’s son, Jonathan, had described his father’s illness as “spiritual attack from the enemy” because of his advocacy of vaccines and support for alternative treatments.
As some hospitals reach full capacity, elective surgeries may be discontinued
Officials from Rochester Regional Health and the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York State have joined a growing list of hospitals in the US and around the world warning that their facilities have reached full capacity and emergency departments are under under pressure. In the Rochester area, hospital leaders said they were considering whether to continue elective procedures and surgeries. dr. Michael Apostolakos, Chief Medical Officer for Strong Memorial and Highland Hospitals, said the majority of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization had not been vaccinated.
“A significant number of people are refusing the vaccines and our community is paying the price,” Apostolakos said. “The number of cases continues to rise with no end in sight.
– Sean Lahman, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The economy could take a slight hit from the ommicron variant in 2022, experts say
The ommicron coronavirus variant could have a moderate impact on the US economy next year as it hurts consumer spending and exacerbates labor shortages and supply chain bottlenecks, exacerbating already high inflation, top economists say.
It’s too early to determine how omicron will affect economic growth, as scientists are just beginning to estimate the toll it could take on global health. But under a likely middle ground scenario set out by some top economists, the strain could be more contagious, but not significantly more virulent, than the delta variety. And it could lead to fewer government-imposed restrictions on businesses.
If that were the case, omicron or some other similar variant would cut economic growth by half a percentage point to 4.3% next year and lead to the creation of several hundred thousand fewer jobs, estimates Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.
That would be less than Moody’s forecasted 5.5% growth this year — the highest since the early 1980s — but still an all-time strong figure as the nation continues to dig itself out of the pandemic-induced downturn.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 905 points, or 2.5%, largely on omicron concerns on Friday, but closed 236 points Monday before falling again during mid-morning trading.
– Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
Contributions: The Associated Press