COVID Omicron Updates: New coronavirus cases in the US rise to the highest level ever

NEW YORK (WABC) – More than a year after the vaccine was rolled out, new cases of COVID-19 in the United States have risen to their highest level ever, averaging over 265,000 a day.

The increase is mainly driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. The former mark was 250,000 cases a day, set in mid-January.

The number of Americans now in the hospital with COVID-19 runs at about 60,000, or about half the number in January last year.

With New Year’s Eve approaching, says Dr. Anthony Fauci that there is no need to cancel small home gatherings among vaccinated and boosted family and friends. But he strongly advises against 40- and 50-person parties with lots of hugs and kisses.

RELATED: What are the symptoms of the COVID omicron variant?

Here are several of today’s COVID-19 headlines:

JetBlue is reducing its schedule until January 13th
JetBlue says they are now proactively reducing their schedule until January 13th. They say they also expect crew cases and cancellations to increase in the coming weeks.

“Although the new CDC guidelines should help get crew members back to work faster, and our schedule reduction and other efforts will further ease the day of cancellations, we expect the number of COVID cases in the Northeast – where most of our crew members “is based – will continue to increase in the next week or two. This means that there is a high probability of further cancellations until the number of cases starts to decrease,” reads a statement from JetBlue.

Westminster Kennel Club postpones dog show
Due to the increase in the omicron variant in New York City, the West Minster Kennel Club has announced the decision to postpone the 146th annual dog show. A new date will be announced once confirmed, according to the Westminster Kennel Club president.

13 NEW state-run COVID test sites open as CityMD closes more sites
As New Yorkers flock to be tested for COVID-19 in the midst of the omicron rise, new state testing sites are opening up across the area. Thirteen new New York state-run test sites opened Wednesday, with at least one in each borough of New York City. It’s part of a larger plan to increase testing in preparation for students returning to schools next week, and is particularly needed as 31 CityMD sites are temporarily closed due to staff shortages. New York set another daily record with 67,000 positive tests Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul said, out of about 362,000 tests.

The Queen Mary 2 cruise ship will not return to NYC due to many concerns about COVID
A luxury cruise ship that departed from Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Dec. 22 with 1,575 passengers on board will not return to New York City after COVID-19 worries were called in for additional crew. Queen Mary 2, Cunard Line’s flagship since the successor to Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2004, remains anchored outside Barbados and is expected to remain there until January 2. The ship is currently on a 28-night itinerary that originally left Southampton on December 13, 2021, and the extended stay means it will not be able to call at New York on January 3 if it is to maintain arrival. back to Southampton on January 10th. All guests will be able to stay on board for New Year’s Eve, and flight arrangements from Barbados will be made for guests due to landing in New York.

Hoboken implements mask mandate, while COVID cases increase across the country
Hoboken on Wednesday implemented a face mask requirement at all indoor facilities in public accommodation due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city and across the state. New Jersey reported another daily record on Wednesday with 20,483 new cases along with 50 additional deaths to bring the total statewide up to 26,118. There are 3,273 admissions in the state, approaching 3,765 patients as of this date last year, but still about half the total number on top of the pandemic.

The CDC does not require testing at the end of isolation. Here’s why
The recently updated CDC guidelines do not require testing at the end of isolation because PCR tests can remain positive for up to 12 weeks, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky for “Good Morning America” ​​on Wednesday.

“So we would have people in isolation for a very long time if we relied on PCRs,” Walensky said.

Walensky also addressed Tuesday’s news from the FDA that, according to early data, rapid antigen testing may be less sensitive when it comes to the omicron variant.

Jets get coach Robert Saleh, six players back from COVID-19 protocols
After seven days in quarantine, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh cleared the COVID-19 records Wednesday morning and returned to the team.

“It’s like the first day of school,” Saleh said. “(I’m) ready to take 18 more weeks.”

On Wednesday, the team activated six to the active list, including defensive linebackers John Franklin-Myers and Folorunso Fatukasi and starting nickelback Michael Carter II. Also activated were backup quarterback Joe Flacco, tight-end Kenny Yeboah and linebacker Hamsah Nasirildeen.

What to do if your flight is canceled as omicron-related crew shortages leave thousands stranded
An increase in cancellations during the busy holiday travel season has left thousands of passengers around the country stranded in airport lounges as they try to get home. Airline representatives said the recent rise in omicron COVID-19 cases has put flight crews on the brink and as a result, they do not have enough people to fly their scheduled flights. Although such a predicament is difficult to plan, travel experts say affected passengers still have opportunities to reach their destination, or in the worst case, drive out of their extended stay with as little hassle as possible.

Exposed to COVID at a holiday gathering? What to know about quarantine, test
So many families gathered this weekend, but COVID-19 did not hide when Santa came to town. The United States now has an average of 198,404 new coronavirus cases every day from Sunday, the day after Christmas, according to new data from Johns Hopkins University. This is 47% higher than a week ago and the highest number since 19 January. Those who were exposed to COVID-19 while attending a holiday gathering or visiting loved ones should be tested five to seven days after the day of exposure, ABC News contributor Dr. Darien Sutton. Here’s what you need to know.

New user-friendly COVID pills come with a catch: who should take them and when
Newly infected COVID-19 patients have two new treatment options that can be taken at home, but that convenience comes with a catch: the birth control pills should be taken as soon as possible when the symptoms appear. The challenge is to get tested, get a prescription and start the pills in a short window. U.S. regulators approved Pfizer’s pill, Paxlovid, and Merck’s molnupiravir last week. In high-risk patients, both were shown to reduce the chances of hospitalization or death due to COVID-19, although Pfizers were much more effective. Here’s a closer look.

How will Biden’s distribution of COVID home test kits work?
President Joe Biden says the federal government will buy half a billion COVID-19 rapid test kits and distribute them for free to people to use at home. But despite the great public demand for testing, it will still be several weeks before these kits are available to be shipped. The administration is still working on details of how the program will work.

Omicron variant symptoms: What you need to know even if you have been vaccinated
The Omicron variant leads to a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the US and across Europe. The World Health Organization said 89% of those with confirmed omicron infections in Europe reported symptoms common with other variants of coronavirus, including cough, sore throat, fever. The variant has mostly been spread by young people in their 20s and 30s in the region, said WHO Europe’s regional director Dr. Hans Kluge. Although much is known about omicron, Kluge said it appears to be more contagious than previous variants, leading to “previously unseen transmission rates” in countries with a significant number of omicron cases. In these countries, the cases of the variant are doubled every 1.5 to 3 days. Here’s what you need to know.

What to know about groundbreaking COVID infections when cases among vaccinated rise
As Americans prepare for the possibility of another difficult winter ahead in the nation’s fight against coronavirus, there is a renewed sense that it is urgent to get as many people inoculated and boosted as soon as possible, given the emergence of the highly contagious omicron variant – now dominant in the US An ABC News analysis of federal and state data showed that since July there has been an acceleration in the number of groundbreaking coronavirus cases, thus of people testing positive after being fully vaccinated.

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Omicron variant symptoms: what to know even if you are vaccinated
New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Center for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

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