US Coronavirus: As Omicron sweeps the country, New York State offers a glimmer of hope

The state is “swept away by the winter rush,” Governor Kathy Hochul said on Friday.

After a maximum positivity rate of 23% on January 3, it is now 16.3%, and the number of hospitalizations with Covid-19 has also begun to decline, she told a news conference.

“It’s still very high, but it will eventually catch up with the trend that is just beginning,” Hochul said.

It reported 49,027 new Covid-19 cases, adding that this was a “very positive trend” as the state reported over 90,000 cases just a week ago.

Nearly weeks ago, when the New Yorkers returned to work after the New Year holidays, Hochul’s message was much gloomier, warning that the state was “not in the right place” because of the rapid spread of the virus.

We fully expect that in addition to the growth that is already underway, there will be another wave that will emerge as a result of these holidays, “she said on January 3.

She added on Friday that residents must remain vigilant.

“Recapitulation: cases are falling, they are turning the corner and we must remain vigilant. We will not pick up football, understand?” said Hochul.

The CDC updates the mask instructions

And while the number of cases in New York is declining, the number of hospitalizations due to Covid-19 is a nationwide record – 157,272 on Friday – according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Two years after the pandemic, more than 1 in 5 eligible Americans also received no dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Friday, the CDC updated its mask guidelines, including clarification that certain types of masks and respirators offer greater protection against coronavirus than others.
A family with masks walks through Union Station in Los Angeles

“Masking is a critical public health tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and it is important to realize that any mask is better than none,” the CDC said in a statement.

Updated information recommends that Americans wear the most protective mask or respirator they can find and that fit them well.

At least one expert wants the management to come earlier.

“We’ve known for a year that Covid is spreading through the air and the quality of the mask matters,” said Baltimore, a medical analyst and former Baltimore Health Commissioner. Leana Wen.

“At least wear a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top. Just one layer of a cloth mask just isn’t enough. If the guidelines change months ago, we may not be where Omicron and I are,” she said. .

Study: Omicron is “substantially milder” than Delta in children under 5 years of age

Although the current Covid-19 wave is affecting children across the United States with a record high number of infections and school closures, a new study says the Omicron variant is “substantially milder” in children under 5, with infection leading to “significantly less severe consequences” than Delta variant.

The prepress study found about a 70% reduction in hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and mechanical ventilation in Omicron-infected children compared with Delta-infected children.

It also found a 29% reduction in emergency department visits.

About 1% of children infected with Omicron were hospitalized, compared with around 3% of children with Delta.

“Despite this encouraging result, further studies are needed to monitor the long-term acute consequences of Omicron infection, the tendency to develop ‘long COVID’, the rate of spread, the potential for mutations and how previous infections change clinical responses,” the study researchers wrote.

The study included about 7,000 children infected when the Omicron variant predominated and about 63,000 children infected when the Delta variant predominated.

Death data were not included because few were reported.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 deaths at the national level has lagged behind the worst increase last winter. In the United States, 1,659 people died on the Covid-19 in the past week, compared to a maximum daily average of 3,402 on January 13, 2021.

The number of hospitalizations of children at a record level in Alabama

In Alabama, which has one of the lowest childhood vaccinations in the country, the number of hospitalizations among children is at a record high.

“In a crisis of higher transmission of the Omicron virus, immediate action is critical,” said a physician at the Alabama Department of Health. Wes Stubblefield in a statement.

The department, along with the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, urges parents to minimize children’s exposure to the virus in schools and public places, wear well-fitting masks, and get vaccinated if they are eligible.

The largest school system in the state will be virtual next week to address the rise of Covid-19 cases.

The number of positive cases has made it “difficult to employ many of our schools,” said Chresal Threadgill, Director of Public County Public Schools.

Although students are expected to return to class on January 24, this decision will be made taking into account current Covid-19 numbers.

Many hospitals stop non-urgent procedures and rely on the National Guard as the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations rises

This week, 16,035 cases of Covid-19 were reported in schools in Alabama, all but four of the 143 counties reported.

Childhood vaccination rates are also low in Alabama. It is reported that about 10.5% of children in the 5-11 age group and 35.5% in the 12-17 age group started vaccination. The rate of at least one dose at the national level is 27% in the 5-11 age group and 64% in the 12-17 age group, according to the American Pediatric Association.

At the national level, many school districts that have started distance learning due to the high number of Covid-19 cases among students and staff plan to return to personal tuition in the next few weeks.

In Philadelphia and New Jersey, most schools will reopen on Tuesday.

The Clark County School District, the largest in Nevada and the fourth largest in the United States, is taking a break to address staff shortages, but hopes that personal tuition will resume in the middle of next week.

And Cincinnati Public Schools will be back in class on January 24 if staff numbers are sufficient to reopen schools safely, officials said.

Mirna Alsharif of CNN, Amy Simonson, Paradise Afshar, Deidre McPhillips, Virginia Langmaid and Elizabeth Stuart


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