New Year’s celebrations toned down as COVID cases hit record highs

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2022 is the third calendar year of coping with the coronavirus pandemic. In New York City, there have been solely about 15,000 revelers in Times Square to see the ball drop to ring within the new year — as COVID cases there have skyrocketed in latest weeks.

At the Vatican Saturday morning, crowds have been restricted as Pope Francis performed New Year’s Day Mass. On Friday, the pope canceled his conventional New Year’s Eve go to to the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square to discourage giant crowds from forming.

Nationwide within the U.S., the typical variety of new virus cases has almost quadrupled since December 1, when the Omicron variant was first detected within the nation.

Fifteen states are seeing record new case counts. Nationally, greater than 2 million coronavirus cases have been reported in a single week — one other record, however not the entire story.

“And we also know that this is most likely an undercount as many residents testing positive through at-home antigen tests aren’t necessarily reporting those cases,” stated New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

“Our hospitals right now are at roughly the same numbers they were on the worst day of last winter’s surge,” Murphy stated.

Getting a check in any respect has resulted in lengthy waits. In Washington, D.C., the road stretched for blocks to get a free speedy COVID-19 dwelling check equipment on New Year’s Eve.

Celebrating was reduce brief in some place. San Francisco and Atlanta canceled public occasions, and Saturday’s Rose Parade in California will not have a Kaiser Permanente float as a result of 20 frontline medical staff set to be on it have been moved to deal with sufferers.

As vacation holidays wrap up, so many airline staff testing optimistic proceed to disrupt flights. More than 1,500 flights have been canceled Friday. 

Meanwhile, the State Department is warning that folks touring overseas might face “unexpected challenges” whereas making an attempt to return to the U.S. and may make “contingency plans.”

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