The state of New York sees a record number of new Covid-19 cases daily
The state of New York sees a record number of new Covid-19 cases daily

The state of New York sees a record number of new Covid-19 cases daily

New York data also revealed that positive Covid-19 cases in the state rose 154% in less than a week.

The previous peak was January 14, when 19,942 new cases were reported.

“We must not shed light on the winter wave we are facing and we should continue to urge everyone we know to be vaccinated, get the booster and wear a mask,” Governor Kathy Hochul said Thursday in a press release.

At its peak in mid-April 2020, New York’s total hospitalization for Covid-19 reached nearly 19,000.

The data revelations come as New York City reported that its positivity rate from PCR tests doubled over a four-day period. The NYC Health Commissioner says cases have tripled in the past month.

More data is needed on the severity of Omicron, says top health official

The United States will see many cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, but it is too early to assume that it will cause milder disease, said National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins Friday.

“It’s clear that Omicron is an extremely contagious variant, that it doubles every two to four days,” Collins told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Collins said people can limit the consequences of the variant with vaccines and especially with boosters.

Data from two weeks of South African cases seemed to indicate that Omicron was milder in severity. The CDC said last week it looked at 43 cases and most of these people had mild symptoms. Most were vaccinated and about a third of the total group had received a booster shot.

British epidemiologists said this week that they found no evidence that Omicron causes milder disease there, but the Imperial College London team also said there was not much data to go on yet.

“We still do not really know – and there is some disagreement about this – whether Omicron causes the same kind of severity of the disease, or whether it is a somewhat milder form of the disease,” Collins said.

“We really need to know that. I do not want to assume right now that it is milder, but would not it be nice if that turned out to be the case?” he asked.

With a more contagious variant, though milder, it can still send more people to hospitals.

“The problem is, of course, if this is so contagious – and we can see hundreds of thousands of cases every day, maybe even a million cases in a day from Omicron – even if it’s a little less serious, you’re going to have a lot of people in the hospital, and our hospitals are already really excited about Delta, especially in the north of the country, “Collins said.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday that the Omicron coronavirus variant is “rising rapidly” and is expected to “become the dominant strain in the United States, as it has been in other countries, in the coming weeks.”

Andy Slavitt, a former senior pandemic adviser to President Joe Biden, said that while tools like vaccines are now widely available rather than during last winter’s wave, “a very harsh January” lies ahead because of Omicron.

“For healthcare professionals, hospitals, for people who are sick, even sick with things other than Covid, it represents a real danger and a real threat,” Slavitt told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday.

Two indicators have risen about 40% in the last month, according to data from Johns Hopkins University: the seven-day average of new cases peaked at 120,000; and the total number of admissions is more than 68,000.

The seven-day average for deaths was 1,286 from Thursday, up 8% from a month ago, the data shows.

Getting vaccinated or boosted remains the key as millions of Americans get ready for vacation travel.

Recent laboratory studies of blood taken from vaccinated humans and exposed to Omicron showed that the variant can evade some protection from two doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, but a booster dose restores much of that immunity. reported researchers Wednesday. The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has shown similar results.
'We are devastated:' Doctors in Minnesota urge in newspaper ads for people to be vaccinated
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amended its recommendations for Covid-19 vaccines to make clear that shots fired by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech are preferred about Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

That means people who got the J&J vaccine should be looking to get a booster injection, but one made by another company, Collins told CNN.

“They should get a booster from an mRNA vaccine,” Collins said. “NIH did this mix and match study in terms of what was your initial vaccine and what did you get boosted with? If you start with J&J and get an mRNA booster, you get a pretty good result from it.

“I follow it closely. I have two grandchildren who got J&J. They are now boosted and I think they will be fine.”

The daily vaccination rate has increased by about 22% compared to a month before, according to CDC data where more than half are booster doses. At the current pace, it will take more than two months for at least half of adults to get a Covid-19 booster, according to a CNN analysis of CDC data.

Biden said Thursday that vaccinations and boosters are essential to keep businesses and holiday gatherings safe.

“For the unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter with serious illness and death,” he said. “But there is good news, if you are vaccinated and you get your booster shot, you are protected from serious illness and death.”

People are waiting in line to receive a Covid-19 test at a mobile test site in Manhattan on December 8, 2021.

Vaccines are still the best way to fight Covid-19, officials say

Even with potential spread of the Omicron variant, former Obama White House health policy adviser Dr. Zeke Emanuel that the United States has the tools to fight Covid-19, unlike during its inception.

“In March 2020, we did not understand much about coronavirus. Second, we have vaccines now. We have the ability to change these vaccines. We get oral therapies. We have much better tests and test availability. None of it is perfect, but it is much better than it was in March 2020, Emanuel told CNN’s Michael Smerconish on Thursday.

Continued research in additional drugs to fight coronavirus is underway.
Omicron is coming, but boosters should fight it, federal health officials say
Merck’s Covid-19 antiviral drug, molnupiravir, reduces the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk unvaccinated adults by 30%, according to a statement issued following the publication of its data from clinical trials in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Among people who received the treatment, the risk of hospitalization and death was 6.8% compared to 9.7% among people who received placebo, the study said. There was one death in the treatment group compared with nine deaths in the placebo group.

We are at war, says Fauci

The United States can win the war against coronavirus if people continue to fight and use the weapons at hand, said Dr. Anthony Fauci Friday.

Fauci compared the fight against Covid-19 to World War II, which raged for years.

Can it pay to gather for the holiday if not everyone is vaccinated?  Experts weigh in

“We want to win this war with this virus, but we only want to win it because we use the things we have: the interventions,” said Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We are so lucky that we have a highly effective and safe vaccine. We know what public health remedy works. We just have to stick with it. We can not give up.”

Fauci said Americans should feel good in the coming holidays if people follow the recommendations of the CDC on vaccinations and masks.

And Collins said people should avoid cramped, indoor spaces and should consider not being near the unvaccinated.

“After all, this is a very cunning virus, but it still has the same way of being transmitted by people who are close to each other in a dense space,” he said.

CDC Director: Test-to-stay works

Walensky said Friday that new evidence shows that “test-to-stay”, which involves testing instead of quarantining students who may have been exposed to the virus at school, is working to keep children in school safe, though they have been exposed to coronavirus.

“Test-to-stay is an encouraging public health practice to keep our children in school,” Walensky said during a virtual White House briefing.

For the past few months, the CDC has partnered with certain school districts to evaluate stay-at-home programs. Two of the communities that partnered with the CDC are Lake County, Illinois, and Los Angeles County, California.

Pfizer adds third dose to pediatric vaccine trials

Pfizer's child-sized vaccine does not produce expected immunity in younger children;  The company is adding a third dose to trials

Pfizer said Friday that preliminary data indicated that the doses of its child-sized vaccine did not produce the expected immunity in the 2- to 5-year-old group. The company said it added a third dose, given two months after the second dose, to the clinical trial regimen for these children.

The company said it expected to apply for an emergency use permit from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the second quarter of 2022 (instead of the first quarter).

Fauci said the delay in approval is necessary.

“You really want to get the right dose and the right cure for the kids,” he told CNN. “So even if you do not like that there’s a delay, you want it right, and that’s what they’re talking about.”

CNN’s Jen Christensen, Deidre McPhillips, Jacqueline Howard, Naomi Thomas, Virginia Langmaid, Allie Malloy, John Bonifield, Katherine Dillinger, Laura Studley, Steve Almasy, Amy Simonson, and Kay Jones contributed to this report.

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