Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

Omicron explosion spurs nationwide breakdown of services

ABC News - January 10, 2022

Ambulances in Kansas speed toward hospitals then suddenly change direction because hospitals are full. Employee shortages in New York City cause delays in trash and subway services and diminish the ranks of firefighters and emergency workers. Airport officials shut down security checkpoints at the biggest terminal in Phoenix and schools across the nation struggle to find teachers for their classrooms. The current explosion of omicron-fueled coronavirus infections in the U.S. is causing a breakdown in basic functions and services …

Diabetes risk rises for those under 18 after they get COVID, CDC warns. What to know

Miami Herald - January 10, 2022

Those under the age of 18 are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes at least a month after they catch COVID-19, according to a new study released by the CDC. Authors of the study — which examined data from March 2020 up to June 2021, before the highly infectious omicron variant sparked a surge of cases across the U.S…

CDC: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 91% effective at preventing MIS-C in kids 12-18

KETV - January 10, 2022

A new study by the CDC finds two doses of the Pfizer vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing MIS-C in kids 12 to 18. ... St. Germain said even if your child's COVID-19 symptoms are mild, three to four weeks later, their body could respond to the infection with MIS-C.

Study offers reassurance on COVID shots, women’s periods

AP - January 7, 2022

One of the first studies to track whether COVID-19 vaccination might affect women’s periods found a small and temporary change. Research published Wednesday tracked nearly 4,000 U.S. women through six menstrual cycles and on average, the next period after a shot started about a day later than usual. But there was no change in the number of days of menstrual bleeding after COVID-19 vaccination. … Some women have reported irregular periods or other menstrual changes after their shots.

Pfizer COVID-19 shot won’t be ready for youngest kids for months: ‘Might be a three-dose vaccine’

USA Today - January 7, 2022

Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine won't be available anytime soon for kids younger than 5. In early tests, the lower dose given to 2- to 5-year-olds didn't produce as much immune protection as did shots given to other age groups … The company hopes a third dose of vaccine eight weeks after the first two shots will provide the desired effectiveness ... But that means waiting until late March or early April for results …

Doctors have an arsenal of Covid-19 treatments, but setbacks and shortages are undercutting options

STAT - January 7, 2022

On paper, the list of outpatient treatments for Covid-19 seems reassuring. … But shortages and setbacks have undercut those options — at a time when more people than ever are getting sick. Supply of some of the treatments, particularly the prized new oral treatment Paxlovid, is extremely constrained. The ascendance of the Omicron variant has nullified the power of some of the monoclonal antibodies.

Supreme Court weighs vaccine rules affecting more than 80M

AP - January 7, 2022

The Supreme Court is taking up two major Biden administration efforts to bump up the nation’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 at a time of spiking coronavirus cases because of the omicron variant. The justices on the conservative-oriented court are hearing arguments Friday about whether to allow the administration to enforce a vaccine-or-testing requirement that applies to large employers and a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

Pushback to Covid-19 vaccines remains stubbornly high among white evangelicals

STAT - January 7, 2022

Among white evangelicals, pushback against Covid-19 vaccines has remained stubbornly high, with polls in recent months suggesting between 30% and 40% refused to get vaccinated, the highest proportion among any religious group surveyed. … [Francis] Collins sees the vaccine pushback coming from two places. “Much of it was triggered by social media conspiracies,” he said. “Some of it came from mixing politics with positions of faith, which I think when it comes to vaccines has been pretty unfortunate.”

Schools sticking with in-person learning scramble for subs

AP - January 7, 2022

Principals, superintendents and counselors are filling in as substitutes in classrooms as the surge in coronavirus infections further strains schools that already had been struggling with staffing shortages.

Omicron upends return to US schools and workplaces

AP - January 4, 2022

Some school systems around the U.S. extended their holiday break Monday or switched back to online instruction because of the explosion in COVID-19 cases, while others pressed ahead with in-person classes amid a seemingly growing sense that Americans will have to learn to co-exist with the virus.

Starbucks to require all U.S. workers get COVID-19 vaccine or tested

CBS News - January 4, 2022

Starbucks says it will require its U.S. workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly as of February 9, in keeping with a federal mandate as the Omicron variant advances across the country.

Children are hospitalized with Covid at record numbers

NBC News - January 4, 2022

The number of children hospitalized with Covid-19 is soaring nationwide, especially as the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads across the country. According to an NBC News analysis, at least nine states have reported record numbers of Covid-related pediatric hospitalizations: CT, GA, IL, KY, MA, MN, MO, OH and PA, as well as DC. Some of those children were found to be Covid-positive through routine testing if they had to be hospitalized for other, unrelated issues.

Covid is rampant among deer, research shows

NBC News - January 4, 2022

Humans have infected wild deer with Covid-19 in a handful of states, and there’s evidence that the coronavirus has been spreading among deer, according to recent studies that outline findings that could complicate the path out of the pandemic.

Biden announces free tests and defends the White House response as COVID cases surge

NPR - December 22, 2021

President Biden told Americans that he understands "how tired, worried and frustrated you are" about the latest COVID-19 case surge in the U.S. and announced several new steps to deal with the highly contagious omicron variant. Most notably, the government plans to buy a half-billion at-home COVID test kits and mail them to people who want them, with deliveries beginning in January.

Unvaccinated Houston Man First Known Death in the U.S. from Omicron COVID Variant

PEOPLE - December 22, 2021

An unvaccinated man in Houston is the first known death in the U.S. from the omicron variant of COVID-19, Texas health officials said Monday. The man was in his 50s and had tested positive for the omicron variant before his death, officials in Harris County said. Along with being unvaccinated, he had preexisting conditions and had a previous case of COVID-19.

‘I am terrified right now’: Hospitalizations are again on the rise as Covid cases surge

NBC News - December 22, 2021

The most recent surge — fueled by the fast-spreading, highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus — is arriving at hospitals as they are still battling the virus’s delta variant and trying to manage the ongoing shortage of personnel. … Hospitalizations around the nation have risen 39 percent from Nov. 1 to Tuesday, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the HHS. The number of people with Covid has risen by 30 percent in the last two weeks, according to NBC News’ tally.