US coronavirus: As Omicron sweeps the country, New York state offers a glimmer of hope

The state is “turning the corner on the winter surge,” Gov. Kathy Hochul stated Friday.

After a peak positivity fee of 23% on January 3, it is now 16.3% and Covid-19 hospitalizations have additionally began to say no, she stated at a information convention.

“It is still very high, but this will eventually catch up with the trend that is just beginning,” Hochul stated.

She reported 49,027 new Covid-19 circumstances, including that this “is a very positive trend” as the state reported over 90,000 circumstances simply a week in the past.

Nearly two weeks in the past, as New Yorkers returned to work after the New Year’s vacation, Hochul’s message was far grimmer, warning the state was “not in a good place” because of the speedy unfold of the virus.

We totally anticipate on prime of the surge that has already been ongoing that there is going to be one other wave that is occurring as a outcome of these holidays,” she said on January 3.

On Friday, she added that residents needed to remain vigilant.

“Recap: circumstances are trending down, turning the nook, and we’ve got to proceed being vigilant. We’re not going to spike the soccer, perceive that?” Hochul said.

CDC updates mask guidance

And while cases are trending lower in New York, hospitalizations for Covid-19 are at record levels nationally — 157,272 as of Friday — according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also, two years into the pandemic, more than 1 in 5 eligible Americans have not received any dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Friday, the CDC updated its mask guidance, including clarifying that certain types of masks and respirators offer more protection from the coronavirus than others.
A family wearing face masks walks through Union Station in Los Angeles

“Masking is a essential public well being software to stop the unfold of Covid-19, and you will need to keep in mind that any masks is best than no masks,” the CDC said in a statement.

The updated information recommends that Americans wear the most protective mask or respirator they can find that fits well.

At least one expert wishes the guidance had come sooner.

“We have recognized for a 12 months that Covid is airborne, and masks high quality issues,” said NCS medical analyst and former City of Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

“At least put on a surgical masks with a material masks on prime of that. Just a single layer of material masks is simply not sufficient. If the tips had been modified months in the past, we might not be the place we’re with Omicron,” she said.

Study: Omicron is ‘inherently milder’ than Delta among children under 5

Although the present Covid-19 wave is impacting kids throughout the US with file excessive infections and college closures, a new study says that the Omicron variant is “inherently milder” amongst kids underneath 5, with an infection resulting in “considerably much less extreme outcomes” than the Delta variant.

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

It also found a 29% reduction in visits to the emergency room.

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

“Despite this encouraging outcome, additional research are wanted to watch the longer-term acute penalties from Omicron an infection, the propensity for growth of ‘lengthy COVID,’ the rapidity of unfold, potential for mutation, and the way prior infections alter medical responses,” researchers of the study wrote.

The study included about 7,000 children infected during a time when the Omicron variant was predominant and about 63,000 children infected when the Delta variant was predominant.

Data on deaths was not included, as there were few reported.

Overall, Covid-19 deaths nationally have lagged from the worst of last winter’s surge, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US averaged 1,659 Covid-19 deaths a day over the past week, compared with a peak daily average of 3,402 on January 13, 2021.

Child hospitalizations at a record level in Alabama

In Alabama, which has one of the lowest little one vaccination charges in the nation, pediatric hospitalizations are at a record high.

“In the disaster of greater virus transmission with the Omicron variant, instant measures are essential,” Alabama Department of Health District Medical Officer Dr. Wes Stubblefield said in a statement.

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

The state’s largest school system will go virtual next week to address the uptick in Covid-19 cases.

The number of positive cases have made it “troublesome to workers many of our faculties,” said Mobile County Public Schools Superintendent Chresal Threadgill.

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

Many hospitals are halting nonurgent procedures and relying on the National Guard as Covid-19 hospitalizations rise

There had been 16,035 circumstances of Covid-19 in Alabama faculties this week with all however 4 of the 143 districts reporting.

Child vaccination rates are also low in Alabama. About 10.5% of children in the 5-11 age group and 35.5% in the 12-17 age group are reported to have initiated vaccinations. The rate for at least one dose nationally is 27% in the 5-11 age group and 64% in the 12-17 range, based on the American Association of Pediatrics.

Nationally, many faculty districts that had began distant studying because of excessive Covid-19 circumstances amongst college students and workers are planning to return to in-person lessons in the subsequent few weeks.

In Philadelphia and New Jersey most faculties will reopen on Tuesday.

Clark County School District, the largest in Nevada and the fourth largest in the US, is taking a pause to take care of staffing shortages however hopes to renew in-person lessons mid subsequent week.

And Cincinnati Public Schools might be again at school on January 24 if staffing ranges are adequate to soundly reopen faculties, officers stated.

NCS’s Mirna Alsharif, Amy Simonson, Paradise Afshar, Deidre McPhillips, Virginia Langmaid and Elizabeth Stuart


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