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    How can I protect myself from the new omicron variant? The same way you guard against COVID-19 caused by any other variant: Get vaccinated if you haven’t yet, get a booster if you’re eligible and step up other precautions you may have relaxed, like wearing a mask and avoiding crowds. For all the attention omicron is getting, the overwhelming cause of infections and deaths in many places remains the extra-contagious delta variant. “Delta is the real risk right now. Omicron is an uncertain threat,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, told The Associated Press. Regardless of the coronavirus type, Collins said “we do know what to do.” It will take a few weeks to learn key aspects about this latest variant, including whether it’s more contagious, causes more severe illness or evades immunity — and if so, how by much. In the meantime, “what we need to do is add more layers of protection,” says Dr. Julie Vaishampayan of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. That’s especially important with holiday travel and gatherings around the...
    Finland's glamourous Prime Minister has signalled she is relaxed about the Omicron variant after she was spotted drinking beer and dancing with friends until the early hours of the morning at a nightclub in the capital of Helsinki. Premier Sanna Marin, 36, was seen enjoying a night out at the Butchers nightclub with friends on Saturday - so much so that she did not leave until 4am.  Finland has seen some of the lowest rates of Covid-19 in Europe, with just 1,277 cases recorded on Saturday compared to a staggering 56,739 infections in Germany. The country has also seen just one case of the Omicron variant.  The country's high vaccination rate - with 72 per cent of the population double jabbed - and the use of a Covid health pass to allow access to some restaurants and nightclubs has kept the rate of infections low.  And in a sign that the Prime Minister is confident in her country's approach to the pandemic and the Covid health pass, Marin was spotted at a night club after having dinner at the Grotesk...
    SACRAMENTO (CNN) — For the first time in two months, the US is averaging more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases each day, shortly after millions of Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday. The seven-day moving average of new cases was 121,437 as of Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Prior to this week, the US last topped the 100,000-cases-a-day mark in early October. READ MORE: Top Space Force Official: China Is Developing Space Capabilities At 'Twice The Rate' Of UsAlso on the rise is the number of Covid-19 deaths, with a seven-day average of 1,651 people dying from the virus each day as of Saturday, the JHU data showed. Average daily deaths haven’t been this high in more than a month. The vast majority of new cases in the US continue to be from the Delta variant, but US health officials have detected the new Omicron coronavirus variant in at least 16 states as of Saturday. The first case was found in California on Wednesday, and by the weekend the variant had been identified in 15 other...
    (CNN)For the first time in two months, the US is averaging more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases each day, shortly after millions of Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday. The seven-day moving average of new cases was 121,437 as of Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Prior to this week, the US last topped the 100,000-cases-a-day mark in early October.Omicron variant cases identified in at least 12 states but Delta still dominatesAlso on the rise is the number of Covid-19 deaths, with a seven-day average of 1,651 people dying from the virus each day as of Saturday, the JHU data showed. Average daily deaths haven't been this high in more than a month. The vast majority of new cases in the US continue to be from the Delta variant, but US health officials have detected the new Omicron coronavirus variant in at least 16 states as of Saturday. The first case was found in California on Wednesday, and by the weekend the variant had been identified in 15 other states: Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota,...
    A Minnesota man who tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 after traveling to a New York City anime convention last month has revealed that more than a dozen of his friends who also attended the packed gathering have contracted the virus. The man, who has not been identified, reportedly alerted health officials in his home state of the potential spread - which he says affected approximately 15 members of the 35-strong friend group. It is unclear whether any of his friends contracted the Omicron variant - which is thought to be more transmissible than previous versions of the respiratory virus. As of Saturday, 37 Omicron cases have been identified in the U.S., including eight in New York Hours before the confirmation of New York cases, Omicron was confirmed in a man who tested positive days after attending a huge anime convention (above) in Manhattan's Javits Center. The man now says that more than a dozen friends who attended the convention with him have since tested positive for Covid. It is not known whether the cases are related to the new variant According...
    Once again, we enter a new phase of pandemic uncertainty. As we approached the end of the second year of the pandemic, we knew that the holiday season would once again present challenges. With the weather cooling and more people gathering indoors to celebrate with friends and families, an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths seemed inevitable. And then, on Thanksgiving Day, as the U.S. holiday season launched, South Africa alerted the world to its discovery of the omicron coronavirus variant. Five days later, the first U.S. case was reported in San Francisco. After a week, more than 20 countries had reported omicron cases. By Friday, in the United States, nine states — Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Utah — had joined California on the list. There’s no sugarcoating it: There’s a good chance that omicron will spread throughout the nation and the world. Ali Mokdad, who tracks COVID-19 at the University of Washington, told NPR that if it can compete with the delta variant, omicron will be the main one circulating in this...
    ▶ Watch Video: Biden launches plan to combat Omicron variant The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is the latest strain of the coronavirus to be designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization: more and more countries are reporting cases, and it has an unusual combination of mutations that may enable it to spread faster. Scientists are also trying to determine whether the current vaccines are effective against it. Is it spreading in the U.S.? At least 10 cases have been reported across five states: Hawaii, New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and California. Some local leaders say Omicron is likely spreading in their states, after spotting cases not linked to international travel.  On December 2, New York’s governor announced that five new cases of the variant had been detected in the state. At least one, a 67 year old woman, had recently traveled to South Africa. She had received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine and reported “mild symptoms” from the disease. Officials said they had few details on the other four cases. That announcement came hours after health officials...
    DENVER (CBS4) – The first Colorado case of the omicron variant was reported Thursday. Experts say the new omicron variant is different in more than 30 ways from the COVID-19 virus we have seen so far. Here is what we know — and don’t know — about the new variant: Symptoms: So far, infections from the new variant have produced mild symptoms, according to Al Tompkins with Poynter. The first patient detected in Colorado reported mild symptoms and is isolating at home. Vaccine Status: It appears most of the people infected by the omicron variant were not fully vaccinated, according to Tompkins. “We do not know yet if the currently approved vaccines protect us a little, a lot or not much at all from this version of the virus, but there is reason to believe the vaccines will provide at least some protection,” Tompkins stated Thursday. Omicron or B.1.1.529 Coronavirus the new variant of concern by WHO. “We just don’t know those answers yet,” Dr. Reginald Washington, Chief Medical Officer from Presbyterian St. Luke’s...
    When the new Omicron variant became known last week, there was anxiety about whether it would lead governments to consider new restrictions just as the holidays arrived. And while the variant has now been detected in California, officials say that they don’t think they’ll need to implement significant new restrictions, saying travel plans can be pursued and policies already in place around masks and vaccine verification are the best path for combatting the new strain of the coronavirus. “This has been an extraordinarily long and challenging time, and people are right to feel fatigued,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “I think the best way to put all of this in perspective is we actually have a lot more powerful tools at our hand right now than we did last year.” California L.A. County has no plans for an Omicron lockdown No significant new coronavirus-related restrictions are planned in Los Angeles County despite the emergence of the Omicron variant. Why this approach? Officials are quick to note that the state of the pandemic is...
    "Policy discussions are ongoing across the government," said the official. Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the current vaccines should provide some protection from omicron but that it was far too early to know how dangerous the new variant really is. "Right now it does not look like there's a big signal of a high degree of severity, but it's too early to tell," said Fauci on CNN. "This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic," said Biden on Monday. "We'll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion." Here's more on Biden's response to the omicron variant: Omicron COVID variant puts pressure on Biden administration www.youtube.com
    (CNN)Since South African authorities announced the arrival of a new coronavirus variant that contains an unusually large number of mutations, countries around the world have mobilized by putting into place travel restrictions and precautionary measures.There is much that's still unknown about this variant, Omicron. While scientists are gathering more information, the public wants to know how worried they should be. Is the alarm around Omicron warranted? What's already known, and what are the key pieces of information still to be researched? Are there things we can do to prepare for it? I discussed all of this with our expert, CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She is also author of a new book, "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health," and the mother of two young kids. CNN: What raised alarms for scientists about Omicron, compared to other variants? Read MoreDr. Leana Wen: With new variants, there are three key questions to ask. First,...
    The new Omicron COVID-19 variant has managed to dominate headlines and much of the American consciousness over the past week despite the strain not even having been detected in the U.S. yet.  The variant was first discovered last week in South Africa, and is believed to have originated in Botswana. It has more than 50 mutations, including more than 30 on its spike protein, leading some to believe it could be vaccine evasive.  Experts tell DailyMail.com that it is too early for Americans to worry about the variant just yet, though they should still take basic Covid precautions, mainly to protect themselves from the predominant Delta variant. An expert tells DailyMail.com that Americans do not have to worry much about the new Omicron Covid variant yet, but they should still take some precautions to protect themselves from the Delta strain. Pictured: A man wears a mask at an airport in Lisbon, Portugal, in front of a public health notice on November 30 'It's way too early to be worried,' Dr Chris Thompson, an immunologist at Loyola University Maryland told DailyMail.com. Thompson...
    This is a rush transcript from "The Five," November 29, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS HOST (on camera): Hello, everyone. I'm Dana Perino, along with Dagen McDowell, Geraldo Rivera, Jesse Watters, and Greg Gutfeld. It's five o'clock in New York City, and this is THE FIVE. President Biden pushing for calm over the latest COVID variant, Omicron, after causing panic with a travel ban against eight countries in Africa starting today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. We will fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion. We have more tools today to fight the variant than we've ever had before. The best protection against this new variant or any of the variants out there the ones we have been dealing with already is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot. (END VIDEO CLIP) PERINO (on camera): But the doctor in South...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As more countries report cases of the new omicron coronavirus variant, there are concerns about whether it’s more contagious and virulent than the delta variant. “This thing has mutated like crazy,” said Dr. Robert Murphy, an infectious disease specialist with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “There’s at least 30 mutations in the spike protein. This is like way more than any other variant.” READ MORE: Ravens-Packers Game In December Moved To 4:25 P.M., Team SaysThose mutations could make it easier for the virus to infect the cells. “If you look at the data, it does look like it’s most likely transmitting easier than Delta,” Dr. Murphy said. “We don’t know if it’s really any worse as far as disease progression or death or hospitalization. So, it may be very similar to what we saw with Delta. But all this really has to play out, and it’s gonna take us probably at least one to two weeks.” READ MORE: Rosenbaum Drops Out Of Maryland Governor's RaceAnother concern, how effective current vaccines will be against the new variant,...
    President Joe Biden on Monday warned Americans they may need another shot to protect them from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as he outlined the measures his administration was taking to respond to the latest threat. With scientists already beginning research on whether new vaccines will be needed, Biden also urged the unvaccinated to get their shots.    'We do not yet believe that additional measures will be needed,' he said at the White House.  'But so that we are prepared if needed, my team is already working with officials at Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson to develop contingency plans for vaccines or boosters if needed.' And he said he was directing regulators to push as fast as possible - without cutting corners - to approve rapidly any new vaccines.   He repeated the point in an evening tweet. 'In the event — hopefully unlikely — that updated vaccinations or boosters are needed to respond to Omicron, we will accelerate their development and deployment with every available tool,' he said.  'I am sparing no effort and removing all roadblocks to keep the...
    Left-wing media figures like NBC News anchor Charles Todd appear very concerned about the new coronavirus omicron variant discovered in Botswana – but not chiefly because it may or may not be extensively hazardous, the panel on "The Five" discussed Monday. On Sunday, Todd suggested President Biden should use the emergence of the new variant to "push back on all this vaccine misinformation from Republicans" and to try to use his political stature to take control of the vaccine mitigation narrative. On ABC's "Good Morning America," one pundit said the new variant poses a "challenge – particularly on the economic front – heading into an election year for the Biden administration, which is critical and could spell trouble." "The Five" host Jesse Watters remarked that the media is panicking over the wrong thing. Instead of analyzing the new variant's potential effect on the United States' current statistics, they're worried about their friend in the White House. "[Could be] trouble for Biden, but not for the people who could get sick," he said, paraphrasing the pundits. President Joe Biden points...
    In response to the discovery of the Omicron variant — a new worrying strain of COVID-19 — President Joe Biden has temporarily banned travel to the U.S. from South Africa and some of its neighboring countries. The World Health Organization has labeled it a "variant concern," based on preliminary but still uncertain indications that it may have increased transmissibility and may be able to at least partially evade immunity induced by vaccination or prior infection. Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas, meanwhile, pushed a false conspiracy theory claiming that Democrats are using Omicron to “cheat” in the 2022 midterms. The far-right MAGA Republican tweeted: Here comes the MEV - the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election - but we're not going to let them! — Ronny Jackson (@Ronny Jackson) 1638046070 Jackson has been drawing criticism from both the left and the right for politicizing the Omicron variant. Some of the most scathing criticism has come from Joe Scarborough, the...
    (CNN)Roughly 24 hours after most people in America first heard about the Omicron variant of Covid-19, Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson (R) offered a conspiracy theory to explain what was happening."Here comes the MEV - the Midterm Election Variant," tweeted Jackson, who, not for nothing, is also a physician. "They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election - but we're not going to let them!"And then there was this from Fox News personality Pete Hegseth: "Count on a variant about every October, every two years."The idea here is clear: The emergence of Omicron is a political gambit by Democrats designed to aid them at the ballot box.That is, in a word, dumb.Read MoreStart here: Variations of Covid-19 don't, um, follow the laws of politics. The Omicron variant -- of which we still know very little beyond the fact that it has a number of mutations from past cycles of the disease -- appears to have originated in southern Africa. Which, last time I checked, isn't the political base of Democrats...
    A new COVID-19 vaccine made specifically to combat the South African Omicron variant is in the works at two leading vaccine manufacturers.  BioNTech, a German company that has partnered with Pfizer to distribute its vaccine, announced Monday morning it had begun work on a vaccine tailored to combat the new variant. Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which produces the lone one-shot vaccine available in the U.S., also announced Monday it was working on a vaccine to combat the new strain. Many experts fear that the variant detected over the Thanksgiving holiday can evade vaccine protection because of the many mutations it has on its spike protein. BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer for its Covid vaccine (pictured), expects to know more about the Omicron variant in the next two weeks. The company announced Monday it is working on a Omicron-specific jab Johnson & Johnson produces the only one-shot COVID-19 vaccine available in the U.S. (pictured). The company announced Monday it is working on a jab tailored to the Omicron variant 'The first steps of developing a potential new vaccine overlap with the...
    PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — The discovery of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus has left governments around the world scrambling, leading to a steady stream of increased travel restrictions since the World Health Organization designated B.1.1.529 ” as a “variant of concern” on November 26. Little is known about the new variant, dubbed Omicron, including how it will impact those infected or the levels of efficacy vaccines provide against it. READ MORE: What We Know And Don't Know About The Omicron VariantBut officials in many countries aren’t taking chances. Major travel destinations have moved to block flights from multiple countries in southern Africa following the discovery of the Omicron variant, while others are limiting travel from affected areas to citizens only. For those hoping the worst of the pandemic was in the rear view mirror and they could finally plan some long-overdue getaways abroad, the news comes as a harsh blow and raises multiple questions. Here are some of the biggest ones that might be on travelers’ minds right now.   How are countries responding to the new variant? Would-be travelers could...
    THE next three weeks will be crucial in the fight against the “new kid on the block” - the Omicron variant, experts say. As scientists rally to understand the deeply worrying strain in the festive period, efforts are being ramped up to stall its spread in the UK.  2England’s deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam at today's briefingCredit: Getty Brits are being told while boffins investigate Omicron, we must get our boosters as soon as eligible in order to “save Christmas” from dreaded restrictions.  England’s deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam told a press briefing today there was "no time to delay", but there was no need to "panic". He expected it would be around three weeks before more information is known - around December 20 - when new Covid restrictions would be reviewed by Boris Johnson. While announcing that boosters would extend to all over 18s, Prof Van-Tam said: “It's always been the case that at some point, we’ll get a variant that gives us heightened concern. “We are at that moment with Omicron. It is...
    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — International travelers prepared to fly out of SFO Sunday night as nations around the world raced to contain the new COVID variant. Starting Monday, the U.S. will ban travel from South Africa and seven other countries in the region. Scientists are still trying to figure out how dangerous and contagious the Omicron strain is. READ MORE: 'The Long Good-Bye'; New Hope In The Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease“If someone who’s been infected with Delta is well protected from this and someone who is fully boosted is also well protected from this, that could be a pretty good backstop from this becoming really epidemic in the United States,” said former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. But travelers at Oakland International were still wary of what the impact of the largest COVID strain might be. “I’m actually very nervous about it. I’m going to Mexico and I’m going to be watching the news. If there’s anything that’s going to be a problem, I’m just going to come right back,” said Karen Schafer, who was traveling to Mexico....
    PHILADELPHIA -- US health officials are urging Americans not to be complacent and to use every tool at their disposal to prepare for the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which was recently deemed a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization (WHO).The overall global risk related to the newly discovered B.1.1.529 strain of the novel coronavirus "is assessed as very high," the WHO said in a technical brief Monday.Experts are now racing to determine whether Omicron's mutations make it more transmissible, more severe and potentially more resistant to vaccines, but it could be weeks before we have answers.In the meantime, US travel restrictions on flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi went into effect overnight. The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa and has been detected in multiple countries.So far, no cases have been confirmed on US soil, but the variant has been detected over the border in Canada and experts say it will likely pop up in the US soon.With much about Omicron still unknown, officials say vaccinations and boosters remain the...
    (CNN)US health officials are urging Americans not to be complacent and to use every tool at their disposal to prepare for the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which was recently deemed a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization (WHO).The overall global risk related to the newly discovered B.1.1.529 strain of the novel coronavirus "is assessed as very high," the WHO said in a technical brief Monday. Experts are now racing to determine whether Omicron's mutations make it more transmissible, more severe and potentially more resistant to vaccines, but it could be weeks before we have answers. Omicron is reminder that the virus is still in control, medical professor saysIn the meantime, US travel restrictions on flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi went into effect overnight. The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa and has been detected in multiple countries. So far, no cases have been confirmed on US soil, but the variant has been detected over the border in Canada and experts say it will likely pop up in the US...
    LONDON (AP) — The Scottish government announces 6 new cases of the omicron variant of coronavirus, taking the UK total to 9. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    VIDEO3:0203:02WHO discusses key questions about omicron Covid variantSquawk Box Asia While the new omicron Covid strain has countries on high alert, the World Health Organization says most of the current infections are still due to the delta variant. "Over 99% of cases around the world are due to the delta variant and more deaths are occurring in the unvaccinated," WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Monday. "I think that's our priority while we wait to find out more about [the omicron] variant." Last week, the global health agency recognized the omicron variant, first referred to as lineage B.1.1.529, as a variant of concern. That means it could be more contagious, more virulent or more skilled at evading public health measures, vaccines and therapeutics. The strain was first identified by South African scientists. Delta, on the other hand, was first detected in India.Why are health experts worried?Health experts are concerned about the omicron variant's transmissibility given its unusual constellation of mutations and profile that differs from previous variants of concern.It's really important that everybody out there...
    TOKYO (AP) — Japan says it is suspending entry of foreign visitors from around the world as new coronavirus variant spreads. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As more cases emerge across the world of the newfound Omicron variant of the coronavirus, it has yet to make its way to the United States. Doctors told KDKA the new variant of COVID-19 actually isn’t surprising at all and that new variants are common in viruses. READ MORE: Police Investigating After Body Found In Vacant Lot In WashingtonSo here is what you can expect in these coming months as the country prepares for another possible wave of COVID-19. A growing number of countries are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the newest variant of COVID-19. And local doctors are joining the effort to figure out more details about the little-known Omicron variant. “We don’t know whether it is more transmissible, whether it causes more severe disease or not and whether our current vaccines to mitigate against COVID will be as effective against this variant,” Dr. Arvind Venkat said. Dr. Arvind Venkat is an emergency physician with Allegheny Health Network. He said the evolution of viruses is common. READ MORE: FirstEnergy Planning West Virginia Solar...
    Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about the impending threat of the mutating Covid-19 virus and while he did not say whether new restrictions were inevitable, he warned Americans to prepare. The new variant being discussed is Omicron, which was first identified in South Africa. Starting this Monday, the United States will begin to restrict travelers from South Africa, and seven other African countries in order to limit the new strain’s spread. Stephanopoulos questioned Fauci on whether the U.S. will see new restrictions enacted to combat the Omicron variant, to which Fauci replied, “I don’t know, George. It’s really too early to say.” Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s “really too early to say” whether Americans can expect new lockdowns or mandates to combat omicron variant. “We just really need to, as I’ve said so often, prepare for the worst.” https://t.co/E0fMRghHKQ pic.twitter.com/T3uk9MKsC1 — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 28, 2021 Fauci continued, “We just really need to, as I’ve said so often, prepare for the worst.” “And it may not be that we’re going to have to...
    PARIS (AP) — Morocco halts all incoming air travel from around the world because of rapid spread of new omicron variant. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    ON Saturday November 27, the Prime Minister confirmed new temporary and precautionary measures following the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK. The super-strain was officially named a "variant of concern" by the WHO, as cases are now cropping up across Europe. 1Travel rules are already in place following concerns of the Omicron strain spreadingCredit: EPA When do the new travel rules start? Travel restrictions have already been implemented to slow the spread of the variant and protect our borders. From 04:00am Sunday November 28, South Africa, Botswana, Lesostho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibi, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola have been added to the UK’s travel red list. Anyone arriving from these destinations will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £2,285. Other targeted measures will be introduced from next week as a precaution to slow down the spread of the variant while experts gather more information. These are: All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. All contacts of suspected...
    The state of emergency order enables Holchul to "temporarily suspend or modify any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster emergency or if necessary to assist or aid in coping with such disaster." Under the executive order, non-essential procedures and elective surgeries can be postponed in order to increase hospital capacity. Hochul is concerned about hospital capacity because medical care employees were forced out of the healthcare industry because of New York's vaccine mandate. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 16 that "all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities (LTCF), including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27." On Long Island, Mount Sinai South Nassau medical center temporarily closed earlier this week due to nursing staff shortages, according to WABC-TV. Earlier...
    LONDON (AP) — UK plans new measures to combat the omicron COVID variant, including PCR tests for travelers and ramping up mask-wearing. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.