U.S. surgeon general “worried” about unvaccinated people amid Omicron spread and COVID testing rush

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As COVID-19 infections proceed to rise forward of the vacations, consultants are warning that there are robust days forward within the battle towards the virus — particularly for individuals who are nonetheless unvaccinated.

The common variety of new every day instances has almost doubled for the reason that starting of November, with the U.S. now averaging 156,000 instances a day. On prime of that, the fast-spreading Omicron variant has now been detected in all however 5 states.

The variety of breakthrough infections can be on the rise, however U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy stated people who’re vaccinated and boosted and contract the virus will “most likely” expertise delicate signs.

“Look, in the coming weeks, we are going to see a spike in cases, and that’s because Omicron is incredibly transmissible, and we have to be prepared for that,” Murthy instructed “CBS Mornings” on Monday. “But there will be a stark difference between the experience of those who are vaccinated and boosted versus those who are unvaccinated.

“If you’re unvaccinated, I’m anxious about you,” he said. “I’m anxious that your threat of being hospitalized or, God forbid, dropping your life to this virus is kind of important. It nonetheless stays the case that getting vaccinated and boosted is one of the simplest ways to guard your self, even towards Omicron.”

Delta is still the dominant strain in the U.S., but experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have warned that Omicron will soon take its place.

Omicron and Delta variants gasoline COVID spread

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Amid the surge of infections, President Biden is ready to deal with the nation on Tuesday. His remarks come as disruptions brought on by COVID outbreaks proceed to develop. 

Three NFL video games and 5 NBA video games have been postponed, and six NHL groups will not play for not less than every week. Meanwhile, a rising variety of universities are actually delaying the return to in-person lessons after winter break, together with Harvard, Middlebury and DePaul. 

Cruise ships are additionally seeing coronavirus instances once more. Royal Caribbean’s “Symphony of the Seas” docked in Miami on Saturday after nearly 50 people examined optimistic for the virus. 

In New York City, which noticed over 12,000 new instances in sooner or later, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated he’ll resolve this week if the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration can go on. Broadway exhibits like “Hamilton” shuttered over the weekend and the producers of the “Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes” canceled the rest of their exhibits. 

And as soon as once more, “Saturday Night Live” had no reside viewers, no musical efficiency and few reside sketches after last-minute modifications for COVID security.

New York broke its document for every day COVID-19 instances for the third day in a row on Sunday. The state of affairs is eerily just like the early days of the pandemic, when instances had been rising and checks had been additionally arduous to return by. What’s totally different now’s that many people are vaccinated, and well being consultants say that is key in terms of the Omicron variant. 

“The booster reduces your chances of certainly getting severely ill and reduces your chances of getting sick in the first place,” Murthy stated. “But no vaccine is perfect, and especially against a foe like Omicron, and we know there are going to be some people who despite getting boosted, they may get breakthrough infections.”

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker revealed Sunday that they each have delicate instances of COVID regardless of being boosted.

Preliminary information launched by Moderna on Monday present {that a} third shot might be essential to preventing the Omicron variant. Moderna’s COVID-19 booster elevated antibody ranges 37-fold, the company stated.

The surge of latest instances at a time when tens of millions of Americans put together to assemble with their households for the vacations has led to lengthy strains for coronavirus checks throughout the nation. It has additionally raised questions about the effectiveness of at-home fast checks. 

Fauci final week stated that some fast antigen checks may not be able to detect the Omicron variant successfully sufficient. 

“We’re getting preliminary information that not all of the [rapid] diagnostic tests will be accurate with Omicron,” he stated in a digital occasion Thursday with the Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Murthy stated the overwhelming majority of checks that Americans are utilizing are working and working nicely, however he famous that the Food and Drug Administration has publicly listed sure checks that it “has some concerns about.”

“But those do not include the vast majority of tests that people are buying over the counter at their pharmacies,” he stated. “So the bottom line is, if you are getting an over the counter test, this is an important tool… And at this point we can feel confident that those tests are still serving us and serving us well.”

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