omicron variant

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An Omicron Offshoot Reaches 40 Countries
'Stealth Omicron' Has
Arrived in the US

'Stealth Omicron' Has Arrived in the US

BA.2, now in 40 nations, may be more contagious than original omicron, though data is limited

(Newser) - Cases of an omicron subvariant have popped up in at least 40 countries, including the US. Health officials in California's Santa Clara County confirmed two cases of "stealth omicron," or BA.2, on Tuesday, adding to 11 existing cases in the state as of Monday, reports the...

Ardern Steps Up Restrictions, Postpones Her Wedding

9 omicron cases are reported in New Zealand family

(Newser) - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced new COVID-19 restrictions for New Zealand on Sunday following the discovery of nine cases of the omicron variant in a single family that flew to Auckland to attend a wedding. One of the events affected is Ardern's own wedding, which she postponed. The so-called...

New Data: Boosters Work Against Omicron

CDC releases real-world studies filling in the gaps on vaccine effectiveness

(Newser) - Full vaccination provides the best—and safest—protection from the delta and omicron coronavirus variants, new studies released Friday by the CDC confirm. It's the first comprehensive examination of the vaccines' effectiveness in preventing hospitalization for omicron infections, the Wall Street Journal reports. Booster shots were shown to make...

'Lot of Infections' From Omicron After 4th Dose: Trial

In preliminary study from Israel, the first of its kind, antibodies rise after 2nd booster, infections persist

(Newser) - Preliminary results are in on a clinical trial testing the efficacy of a fourth COVID shot, the world's first, and when it comes to omicron, that booster isn't doing the job researchers had hoped for. The Times of Israel reports that, in a study that began last month...

Beijing Blames Omicron Case on Mail From Canada

Claim is 'bewildering,' Canadian scientists say

(Newser) - Beijing reported its first case of the omicron variant over the weekend and snap lockdowns soon followed. An office building was locked down with employees still inside after the 26-year-old woman tested positive, CNN reports. The residential complex where the woman lives has also been sealed off and a list...

Schools to Parents: Please Sub as Teachers

Districts are strapped amid omicron surge

(Newser) - School districts are urging parents to help out in classrooms as the omicron variant forces some educators to stay home. "We can't keep up, there is no labor pool," Don Austin, superintendent of California's Palo Alto Unified School District, says in a video shared Sunday, urging...

Amid Omicron, a &#39;Glimmer of Hope&#39;
Amid Omicron,
a 'Glimmer of Hope'

Amid Omicron, a 'Glimmer of Hope'

Variant slowing down in NYC, other East Coast cities, but health experts warn against premature celebration

(Newser) - Is omicron at its peak? That's the latest question posed by the New York Times , and it's one bolstered by the fact that in New York City—and other places along the East Coast where the coronavirus variant made an early appearance—the number of new COVID cases...

Omicron Detected in Major City Near Beijing
China Locks Down 3rd City

China Locks Down 3rd City

Dozens of COVID cases detected in Anyang

(Newser) - Update: China has locked down a third major city, ordering the 5.5 million residents of Anyang in Henan province to stay home and barring most vehicles from the streets. The lockdown, brought in after two cases of the omicron variant were detected, brings the total number of people under...

CDC May Tweak Mask Recommendation
In Europe, a Jarring
Omicron Forecast
the rundown

In Europe, a Jarring Omicron Forecast

WHO expects 50% of the population will be infected with COVID over next 2 months

(Newser) - With omicron surging, the CDC may soon revamp its mask guidelines to encourage people to use N95 or KN95 masks instead of cloth ones, reports the Washington Post . However, the guidance is also expected to say that the best mask is any kind that can be worn correctly for as...

WHO: Don&#39;t Call Omicron &#39;Mild&#39;
WHO: Don't Call Omicron 'Mild'

WHO: Don't Call Omicron 'Mild'

World passes 300M COVID cases

(Newser) - When describing a viral strain spreading around the world with astonishing speed, words matter, and "mild" is not the correct word for omicron, the chief of the World Health Organization warned Thursday. "While omicron does appear to be less severe compared to delta, especially in those vaccinated, it...

US Hits a Staggering New COVID Milestone

On Monday, nation reported more than 1M new cases, a new daily record worldwide, by a lot

(Newser) - Congress is right now grappling with a surge in COVID cases, driven in part by what Bloomberg calls a "tsunami" of the fast-spreading omicron variant. Yet it's becoming increasingly clear the struggle that US lawmakers are facing is simply a microcosm of the larger picture within the US—...

Congress Hit by 'Unprecedented' Surge in Cases

Lawmakers urged to meet virtually amid wave of COVID-19 cases

(Newser) - The Capitol physician is warning lawmakers of an "unprecedented" number of cases hitting members of Congress and their staffers. At the on-site testing center, the 7-day positivity rate is higher than 13%, compared to less than 1% before the rise of the omicron variant, Politico reports. Omicron accounts for...

Fauci: COVID Surge Is 'Almost Vertical'

But focusing on hospitalizations is now 'much more relevant'

(Newser) - A new year has brought a new record in COVID infections: The seven-day average of daily cases rose above 400,000 for the first time Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reports. Since the New Year's weekend caused reporting delays, even the record 403,385 average reached Sunday is likely...

NYC Gears Up for 'Responsible Event for the World to See'

Only 15K in-person spectators, masked and vaccinated, will be allowed at NYE in Times Square

(Newser) - New York City readied on Friday to embrace the new year—and bid good riddance to another pandemic-marred 12 months—as it prepared to revive its annual New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square. It did so as an uneasy nation tried to muster optimism that the worst days...

South Africa: Omicron 'Flash Flood' Has Passed

Johns Hopkins University says US reported 647K cases Thursday

(Newser) - The omicron variant is pushing COVID case numbers to record levels in numerous countries—including the US, which reported a staggering 647,076 cases Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. But in South Africa, one of the countries to first detect the variant, scientists believe the worst is...

British DJ 'Devastated' for Bringing Omicron to NZ

Nation's health officials say Robert Etheridge left required self-isolation before getting test result

(Newser) - New Zealand health officials are reeling after a British DJ set to play a New Year's Eve music fest left his required self-isolation before getting the results of a final COVID test back. He subsequently tested positive for omicron, the country's first community case of the variant. The...

Indicators Agree: Omicron Is Milder, Fauci Says

Infections are rising much faster than hospitalizations in the US

(Newser) - Early data from the US and abroad make two things clear about the omicron variant of the coronavirus. "We know now, incontrovertibly, that this is a highly, highly transmissible virus," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday. And "all indications point to a lesser severity of omicron versus delta....

With New Variant Comes Potential New Testing Issue

FDA warns that rapid antigen tests may not pick up on omicron that well

(Newser) - Not all news regarding the latest COVID-19 variant is gloomy, with very early signs pointing to less severe illness overall—meaning fewer hospitalizations and deaths—with omicron. When it comes to testing, however, the latest development doesn't bode well, per a warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration...

In the Long Term, Rise of Omicron Could Be a Good Thing

And more on the surging COVID-19 variant

(Newser) - Omicron woes seem to have taken over the country, with flights being canceled left and right , the sports and showbiz worlds continuing to be impacted, and the US on Tuesday hitting a record high seven-day average of 254,496 new cases per day. A CNN medical analyst speculates that number...

CDC Cuts Recommended COVID Isolation Time

Agency now recommends 5 days

(Newser) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a big change to COVID isolation and quarantine recommendations Monday. With omicron cases surging and staff shortages causing major disruptions to travel, the CDC has halved the recommended isolation time for people who have tested positive from 10 days to five days...

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