Tag Archives: omicron variant

Omicron Subvariant Now Over Half Of New US Cases

Bloomberg News reports: The omicron subvariant BA.2 is continuing to gain ground in the U.S., according to Covid-19 tests sequenced over the last two weeks. Helix, a San Diego-based genomics firm, has been watching the BA.2 variant since it first popped up in the U.S. in early January. Although it was initially slow to take hold, Helix now estimates that …

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Russia Reports Tenfold Increase In New COVID Cases

The Associated Press reports: Russia is reporting a record daily count of new coronavirus infections, a tenfold spike from a month ago as the highly contagious omicron variant spreads through the country. The figure of 189,071 new infections released by the state coronavirus task force on Sunday was about 2,800 cases more than the previous day and continued a surge …

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US Death Toll From COVID Surpasses 900,000

ABC News reports: Propelled in part by the wildly contagious omicron variant, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hit 900,000 on Friday, less than two months after eclipsing 800,000. The two-year total, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is greater than the population of Indianapolis, San Francisco, or Charlotte, North Carolina. The milestone comes more than 13 months into a …

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Omicron Hospitalizations 23X Higher For Unvaxxed

The Hill reports: Unvaccinated adults were 23 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 during the omicron wave than adults who were vaccinated and boosted, according to a new study that further highlights the importance of coronavirus vaccination and booster shots. The study, released Tuesday, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found by far the highest …

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CDC Adds Multiple Countries To “Do Not Travel” List

Reuters reports: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday advised against travel to a dozen countries because of high rates of coronavirus infection, including Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Ecuador, Kosovo, Philippines and Paraguay. The CDC now lists nearly 130 countries and territories with COVID-19 cases as “Level Four: Very High.” It also added Anguilla, French Guiana, Moldova …

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Omicron Deaths Now Higher Than During Delta Peak

The Associated Press reports: Omicron, the highly contagious coronavirus variant sweeping across the country, is driving the daily American death toll higher than during last fall’s delta wave, with deaths likely to keep rising for days or even weeks. The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been climbing since mid-November, reaching 2,267 on Thursday …

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Pfizer Launches Trial Of Omicron-Specific Vaccine

Reuters reports: Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Tuesday they started a clinical trial to test a new version of their vaccine specifically designed to target the COVID-19 Omicron variant, which has eluded some of the protection provided by the original two-dose vaccine regimen. Banking on volunteers in the United States, the companies plan to test the immune response …

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COVID Deaths Surge As Omicron Appears To Plateau

Reuters reports: Even as COVID-19 cases drop and hospitalizations show signs of plateauing in hard-hit pockets of the United States, the still-rising death toll from the Omicron variant highlights the trail of loss that follows every virus surge. Coronavirus deaths hit an 11-month high on Sunday, climbing 11% in the past week when compared to the prior week, according to …

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Fauci “Confident” Omicron Will Peak By Mid-February

The Hill reports: “You never want to be overconfident when you’re dealing with this virus,” Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” “But if you look at the patterns that we’ve seen in South Africa in the U.K. and Israel … they’ve peaked and starting to come down rather sharply.” Fauci said there are some states, particularly in …

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Tests Ordered For 2M Beijing Locals Ahead Of Olympics

The Associated Press reports: People in a Beijing district with some 2 million residents were ordered Sunday to undergo mass coronavirus testing following a series of infections as China tightened anti-disease controls ahead of the Winter Olympics. The government told people in areas of the Chinese capital deemed at high risk for infection not to leave the city after 25 …

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New COVID Cases On Decline In 15 States And DC

Reuters reports: New coronavirus cases are falling in parts of the United States hardest hit by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, according to a Reuters analysis of public health data, offering an early indication the virus might once again be on retreat. COVID-19 infections have decreased in 15 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, an analysis of the past week …

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New Gallup Poll: Majority Say Pandemic Is Worsening

Gallup reports: With the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19 infecting hundreds of thousands of Americans daily, optimism about the trajectory of the pandemic in the U.S. has fallen sharply, and worry about contracting the virus has risen to its highest level in a year. The latest update to Gallup’s COVID-19 data, from a survey conducted Jan. 3-14, finds U.S. …

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WH To Distribute 400M N95 Masks Starting Next Week

NBC News reports: The Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available for free at thousands of locations across the country, a White House official said Wednesday, as health experts stress the importance of high-quality face coverings to protect against the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The plan consists of working with pharmacies and community health centers to distribute …

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Forecast: Up To 300K More COVID Deaths By Mid-March

The Associated Press reports: The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, but COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing and modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die by the time the wave subsides in mid-March. The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been trending upward since mid-November, reaching …

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Experts: Next Variant May Be Worse Than Omicron

The Associated Press reports: Get ready to learn more Greek letters. Scientists warn that omicron’s whirlwind advance practically ensures it won’t be the last version of the coronavirus to worry the world. Every infection provides a chance for the virus to mutate, and omicron has an edge over its predecessors: It spreads way faster despite emerging on a planet with …

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China To Ban Flights From US Ahead Of 2022 Olympics

CNN Business reports: People trying to fly from the United States to China may soon be confronted with an unthinkable scenario: Starting next week, there are likely to be no commercial flights bound for the country as Beijing tries to keep coronavirus infections out ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beginning January 19 and continuing for at least two weeks, …

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US Again Breaks Daily Record With 1.35M New Cases

Reuters reports: The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing. The previous record was 1.03 million cases on Jan. 3. A large number of cases are reported each …

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Private Insurers To Cover Home COVID Testing Kits

The Associated Press reports: Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations. Under the new policy, first detailed to the AP, …

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US Breaks All-Time COVID Hospitalizations Record

Reuters reports: COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States reached a fresh high of 132,646, according to a Reuters tally on Monday, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year, amid a surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant. While potentially less severe, health officials have warned that the sheer number of infections caused by the Omicron variant could …

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NYT: Two Million New COVID Cases Per Day Globally

The New York Times reports: The pace of daily new infections of the coronavirus has nearly doubled in the past week, surpassing two million known cases a day, underscoring just how quickly the Omicron variant has spread around the world. On April 25 last year, the global average hit a high of more than 827,000 cases, a level that has …

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