U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, causing new disruptions and cancellations
U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, causing new disruptions and cancellations

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, causing new disruptions and cancellations

In New York City, the test positivity rate for PCR tests doubled between December 9 and 12, rising from 3.9% to 7.8%, according to Mayor Advisor Dr. Jay Varma, who tweeted Thursday, “We’ve never seen this before in # NYC.”

Nationwide, an average of 1,326 Covid-19 deaths are reported each day, according to Johns Hopkins data, a 12% increase from a month earlier.

“Things are going up,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci for CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday night. “We have an average of about 117,000 cases. We have an increase in the percentage of hospital admissions. Deaths are still over a thousand. Then, when you look over your shoulder, you have the Omicron variant, which we know from what goes on. in South Africa and in the United Kingdom is a highly contagious virus. “

The rise is coming as the Omicron variant – which researchers, however, believe is more contagious most cases so far appear to be mild is identified in an increasing number of U.S. states. Health authorities in Alabama and Kansas on Thursday announced Omicron cases in their states.

Experts such as Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have said it is likely that the Omicron variant will become the dominant strain, although the United States continues to struggle with the Delta variant. However, Omicron has shown this in other countries “it has an extraordinary ability to transmit effectively and spread, “Facui told ABC’s” Good Morning America “on Thursday.

“It has what we call a doubling time of about three days,” he said, adding, “if you count on it … very soon it will be the dominant variant.”

“We’ve seen it in South Africa, we’re seeing it in the UK, and I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re going to see here relatively soon,” he said.

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, agreed. Based on what is happening in the UK, she said, “we will almost certainly be part of what we are already seeing, which is an early rise, or I should say an early stage of the rise that is likely to be informed by Omicron . ”

Health authorities highlight the importance of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters. Although “there is no doubt,” vaccinated individuals will be infected by Omicron, Fauci told Blitzer, “if you want to be optimally protected and you are vaccinated, get boosted.”

Universities are moving online as Broadway cancels shows

Covid-19 cases have caused a number of colleges and universities to switch to online classes and exams and cancel student gatherings and events: Princeton University, New York University, Cornell University, and Middlebury College, Vermont announced in recent days their fall semesters end at a distance after an increase in cases on their campuses.
One year after the first vaccinations, coronary restrictions remain

In an email to students Wednesday, NYU Provost Katherine Fleming said a “significant acceleration in the number of new cases” was “not a cause for alarm, but a cause for concern, caution and appropriate action.”

Princeton University announced Wednesday that all undergraduate degrees would switch to a remote format to allow students to “leave campus at their earliest convenience.” Indoor gatherings where face clothing cannot be worn are also canceled or postponed until January 7, 2022.

Corresponding Manhattan District Attorney’s Office faces staff shortages in the wake of a Covid-19 outbreak following an offsite holiday party.

The increase in cases “has caused significant staff shortages, disruptions in the department’s practices and other challenges,” Administrative Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Sard said in a letter to staff.

It is unclear how many employees tested positive, and a representative of the office would not elaborate on the impact of the outbreak. Those tested positive should be quarantined, Sard said, and several employees in the affected department have been asked not to enter the office by an abundance of caution.

Several Broadway shows, including “Hamilton”, has canceled performances this week due to Covid-19. The cancellations come just weeks after shows began reopening after a lengthy pandemic break. The announcement from “Hamilton” – which cited “groundbreaking Covid-19 cases” – came less than an hour before its 6 p.m. 20.00 ET performance was scheduled to start Wednesday night.

Professional sports leagues also handle increases in Covid-19 cases, offering a “window” to wider community spread, according to former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

The NFL on Wednesday acknowledged the rise in cases among its players and teams, including the Cleveland Browns, who are scheduled to host the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday. Despite the growing number of players being added to the Browns’ reserve list, there are no plans to postpone the game, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters.

Records are falling and borders are closing while the world race to gain control of Omicron
Separately, The NBA and NHL announced in recent days the postponement of games due to Covid-19 cases or health and safety protocols. And on Thursday, citing “the rising rise in COVID-19 cases in the region,” the Montreal Canadiens announced that their home game against the Philadelphia Flyers would be played that night without fans, at the request of Quebec health officials.

Adams told CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday that others should be aware of pro sports and said, “They really are a window to community dissemination.”

“Kudos to the sports leagues because they actually do an amazing job with surveillance testing,” Adams said. “And the rest of the country, we’re driving a car down a dark road with the headlights off while we look in the rearview mirror and we hit a bump and we say, what was that? That’s our surveillance system right now for Covid.”

Officials continue to push vaccines and boosters

Rising infections and the specter of the Omicron variant have prompted federal health officials to once again urge Americans to get vaccinated and, if justified, get their booster doses.

While it is reassuring that Omicron infections appear to be less serious, “this is really only true if you are a healthy person who has been immunized, and ideally immunized with three shots,” said Dr. Marrazzo to CNN’s Kate Bolduan Thursday.

Delta plus Omicron is causing problems

“What we do not know yet is what the degree of serious illness will be with this variant,” she said. “And we still have so many places that do not even have a primary vaccination coverage above 50%, let alone booster coverage.”

Those who are vulnerable to the virus remain those who have not been vaccinated, Fauci said, though he hopes a potential increase driven by Omicron will encourage more people to be vaccinated. “We have the tools to dull this. We just have to implement them.”

Many Americans seem to follow the advice: About 1.8 million vaccine doses have been administered every day over the past week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of these doses were boosters, and about 413,000 people begin vaccinations each day.

But with boosters now widely available, officials are also discussing what should be qualified as “fully vaccinated” in the future. Currently, the federal government considers people to be fully vaccinated if they have received two doses of Modernas or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

CDC vaccine advisors are voting to recommend Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over J & J's

“I actually think it’s important for people to understand that the CDC, the White House – a lot of researchers have said this, most doctors have said this – needs to change the definition of fully vaccinated, especially for J&J,” said Adam on Thursday. .

It has not happened. On Wednesday, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky that officials “continue to follow that science and that it is literally evolving daily. And as that science evolves, we will continue to review the data and update our recommendations as needed.”

Fauci similarly called the definition of “fully vaccinated” a “semantic thing for regulation,” emphasizing that what matters is that people get a booster shot.

Separate CDC Advisory Committee on Vaccination Practices Thursday voted to recommend the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna over J & J’s. The committee’s vote came after hearing new data indicating that a rare blood clotting syndrome was more common among people who recently received a J&J vaccine than previously thought.

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, Maggie Fox, Jacqueline Howard, Paul P. Murphy, Nora Neus, Elizabeth Stuart and Sahar Akbarzai contributed to this report.

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