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    WESTBORO (CBS) – Starting Monday morning, fully vaccinated students and teachers will be able to remove their masks in some Westboro schools. The flexible masking policy applies to both the Gibbons Middle School and Westboro High School Both schools have vaccination rates higher than 80%. Regardless of vaccination status, everyone will have to wear masks for the week following winter break.
    While health officials continue to study the COVID-19 variant called Omicron, researchers in Hong Kong said the mutation infected two fully vaccinated people staying across the hall from each other inside a quarantine hotel in the city, according to a report. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong published a report that said these individuals never exited their rooms and must have come down with the virus through airborne transmission when they opened their doors for food or COVID-19 tests, Bloomberg reported. The study highlighted the "potential concern" about its transmissibility, the researchers wrote, according to the report. VideoU.S. health officials said Sunday that while the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than Delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN that scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about omicron’s severity. GET THE FOX NEWS APP "Thus far, it does not look like there’s a...
    PREGNANT women have been given an urgent message to protect themselves and their babies from Covid. In a new campaign, three mums have told of their life-threatening experiences getting the virus while pregnant and unvaccinated, and how it may have harmed their babies. 3Christina caught Covid during her pregnancy. She says she still has symptoms and doesn't know if her baby's development will be affectedCredit: PA It comes at a time when there is more social mixing over the Christmas period, Covid cases are high and feared to grow more as a result of the Omicron variant. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 98 per cent of mums-to-be hospitalised with Covid are unvaccinated. Unvaccinated mums-to-be make up one in five Covid patients who are most critically ill. One in five women who are admitted to hospital with the virus have to deliver their babies prematurely, and one in five of their babies need care in the neonatal unit. Since May 2021, only three pregnant women with one vaccine dose have been admitted to hospital. There have been...
    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepalese authorities on Monday reported the first cases of the omicron variant in the Himalayan nation. A Health Ministry statement said a 66-year-old foreign national who arrived by air on Nov. 19 tested positive for the variant along with another 71-year-old person who was in contact with the tourist. Both are being kept in isolation under the supervision of a medical team. Authorities said 66 other people who had contact with the two confirmed cases tested negative. The tourist had both negative PCR test report and was fully vaccinated on arrival in Nepal. The government laboratory had confirmed the testing result of an omicron variant only on Sunday. No other details were given. Nepal has been encouraging foreign tourists to visit the country to climb and hike its famed mountain peaks in an attempt to revive its adventure tourism industry. Nepal has reported 918,084 coronavirus cases and 11,541 deaths since the pandemic began last year. Only 28.6% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All...
    A HEARTBROKEN sister has shared the last message her fitness fanatic brother sent her before dying from Covid after refusing the vaccine. John Eyers, 42, didn’t think that he needed to be vaccinated f from the virus because he was fit and healthy – believing that he would only suffer from a “mild illness” if he did catch the virus. 4John Eyers passed away four weeks after testing positive with Covid 19Credit: Refer to Caption 4His twin sister Jenny has now urged everyone to get their jabsCredit: WNS His twin sister Jenny McCann has now revealed the tragic final message from her brother as he lay in hospital – begging her to not let doctors “give up” on him. John’s devastated family were shocked when the dad-of –one was taken to hospital and died four weeks later. Speaking to The Guardian Jenny explained how she spoke to her twin, who was a keen mountain cliber, before he was sedated and told him she loved him. In his last message to his sister on July 27, John, from Southport, Merseyside, said...
    MILAN (AP) — Italy is making life more uncomfortable for unvaccinated people as the holidays draw near, excluding them from indoor restaurants, theaters and museums to reduce the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccine skeptics to get their shots. Starting Monday through Jan. 15, Italian police can check whether diners in restaurants or bars have a “super” green health pass certifying that they are either vaccinated or have recently recovered from the virus. Smart phone applications that check people’s health pass status will be updated and those who have merely tested negative in recent days for COVID-19 will no longer be allowed into concerts, movies or performances. The number of new COVID-19 infections in Italy has been on a gradual rise for the past six weeks, even before concerns arose about the new omicron variant. That’s a worrying trend as Italians plan holiday parties and getaways to spend time with friends and family. Christmas travel and holiday gatherings were strictly limited last year due to a steeper rise in contagion. While both Germany and Austria are moving toward making...
    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — High school seniors returned to their classrooms in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, on Monday for the first time in more than six months as the city eases coronavirus restrictions. Only 50% of normal school attendance will be allowed to reduce the risk of infections, so students will spend alternate days attending classes in person and online, an announcement by the capital city authority said. “I’m very happy and excited to go back to school after such a long time. This is my last year at school and I cherish the time spent with my teachers and my friends at school, rather than through the computer screen at home,” said Han Binh Huy, a 12th grader at Tran Nhan Tong high school. Only seniors were allowed to return because they are preparing for a critical national exam in June which determines whether they can enter universities. “We are having a very serious exam ahead and being able to go to school will help me a lot. The teachers will be there with us directly so our learning will...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Omicron variant continues to spread, and more cases have been confirmed in Connecticut and New York City. Officials said Sunday a Connecticut man in his 60s from Hartford County started developing mild symptoms on Nov. 27 after a family member tested positive. He was fully vaccinated. READ MORE: Connecticut Reports First Confirmed Case Of Omicron VariantHis family member had recently traveled to the Anime NYC convention at the Jacob Javits Center. Gov. Ned Lamont said the man’s symptoms are mild. “The good news is in the vaccination. In this case, the patient is at home resting peacefully, and no need to go to the hospital,” he told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation. Connecticut has reported its first confirmed case of the new #Omicron variant in the state. @GovNedLamont tells @margbrennan so far indications show it is a mild infection but it's not yet clear how widespread the variant is. pic.twitter.com/AKh8fjc4JZ — Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 5, 2021 In New York, there are three new confirmed cases, bringing the total to...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s still a lot that we don’t know about the omicron variant. But health experts are encouraging people to get vaccinated and wear masks indoors. READ MORE: The Ravens Gambled And It Cost ThemAnd if you haven’t gotten your booster shot yet, now is a good time to do so before the holidays. Ramping up efforts in the fight against Covid-19. “The bottom line is that we believe that the best way to protect yourself from omicron or the delta variant is to get vaccinated,” said Dennis Schrader, Maryland Department of Health secretary. This comes as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising and Maryland health officials detected the first three omicron variant cases in the state Friday, all from the Baltimore area. “A highly vaccinated population decreases the likelihood of spread, as well as decreasing the likelihood of variants rising,” said Dr. Chuck Callahan, Vice President for population health at the University of Maryland Medical Center. That’s why the Maryland Department of Health and the University of Maryland medical system are partnering up to expand testing and...
    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...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Tomorrow is a deadline day for Pitt students, faculty, and staff on all campuses. READ MORE: Part Of Fifth Avenue Shuts Down As Film Crews Work On 'Rustin'It is the day they all must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or provide an approved exemption. READ MORE: Former Pa. Lawmaker Pleads Guilty To Double-Dipping ReimbursementsIn the fall, the university advised everyone to get vaccinated and comply with the guidance. MORE NEWS: Fire Marshal Investigating Cause Of House Fire In Upper HillAs of the last report from the university, at least 93 percent of students, staff, and faculty have submitted their status.
    Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Health Authority said that the 'permanent' mandate is indefinite as it can be repealed anytime by the state Oregon sparked panic when its health authority announced it was planning to make its mask mandate 'permanent'.  The state's Health Authority's Rules Advisory Committee met with business leaders, faith leaders and stakeholders on Thursday to discuss the worryingly worded draft of the new mandate, which will be released next week.  Some had expressed their personal concerns over the proposed 'permanent' mandate online.  'I'm a recent transplant to Oregon from Seattle. I have dutifully followed all the 'mask on-mask off' rules. I have kept my distance at grocery stores and in DMV lines. I'm also fully vaxxed, boosted, over 65 and retired. So is my wife,' one person tweeted. 'But if the state enacts a permanent indoor mask requirement...I'm done with masks...EVERYWHERE AND ANYWHERE. Go ahead and fine me or arrest me. I've got plenty of assets to pay fines (if I feel like it) and lots of free time if the state wants to jail (a grandpa). ...
    Antonio Brown’s future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is reportedly up in the air after the veteran wide receiver violated the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols by using a fake vaccine card.  One source told the NFL Network on Sunday that a decision has not been made regarding Brown’s status with the team following his three-game suspension.  BUCS’ BRUCE ARIANS TRIES MOVING ON FROM PLAYERS’ VAX CARD DRAMA: ‘I DON’T GIVE A S--- ABOUT THAT’ Another source noted to the network that the Bucs may keep Brown and safety Mike Edwards, who was also suspended for the same reason – an indication that there’s a possibility that both players may not return.  Antonio Brown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Dec. 20, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Brown and Edwards, along with free agent John Franklin III, were suspended for three games for violating the league’s health and safety protocols. Brown was accused in a Tampa Bay Times report last month of acquiring a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to avoid...
    Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Sunday predicted that his state will be able to avoid another surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, pointing to the high rate of vaccination that has been achieved so far. Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation" Lamont said the omicron case that was detected in Connecticut is mild and that the infected individual does not require hospitalization. Host Margaret Brennan asked Lamont how concerned he was about a wider infection in his state. "I'm concerned. Look, omicron is coming up from New York on the I-95 corridor, but delta's coming down from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, And no state is an island and no country is our island," said Lamont. "So good news is we have 95 percent of our folks over the age of 12 have had some vaccines. So I think we are prepared and I'd like to think that we're not going to have the surge in hospitals you see in some less vaccinated states," he added. Connecticut is situated between to major cities of NYC and Boston. @GovNedLamont tells @margbrennan he's "concerned"...
    DELANO, Calif. —  As Marissa Zendejas waited to get her first COVID-19 vaccination shot at the headquarters of the California Farmworker Foundation, the 27-year-old rattled off the tall tales she had heard from people she knows and the internet about why she shouldn’t. “Like, your life span gets short if you’re vaccinated,” Zendejas said. “You only have this amount of time of life left. Or you’ll get sterilized and won’t have kids no more.” She laughed sheepishly and shook her head. “There are a lot of things circulating, and people get scared.” Nearby, Michael Rodriguez, 35, said he had seen on TikTok that the pandemic was a conspiracy created by the government. He got COVID-19 in February, but said the symptoms were mild. Rodriguez needed clearance to watch Mexican regional music star Carin Leon perform in Bakersfield. His wife got vaccinated months ago, but he needed a negative test as proof of entry. Adults and children received COVID-19 vaccines in Delano, Calif.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times) “I’m scared of vaccination because maybe something might happen to...
    (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,...
              moreby Jack Rowing   While the science community researches the newly discovered Omicron variant of Covid-19, treatments will become even more necessary where breakthrough cases are detected and those who choose to be unvaccinated are infected. What we already know from the Covid-19 variants is that they are not going away leading to the reality that we will be living with this virus for a long, long time. A vaccine focused approach misses the fact that treatments are going to be needed as a backstop. The facts surrounding the Omicron variant are emerging day-by-day. CNN reported on November 30, 2021, “there is still a lot we don’t know about the Omicron variant, but scientists are racing to determine its severity, transmissibility and whether it evades current vaccines.” The report indicates that 70 countries have imposed travel restrictions from hot zones in Africa and a growing number of countries outside of Africa are reporting cases. Moderna’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, worries that the new variant may have an impact on vaccine efficacy while Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, said that the company is working on an updated vaccine if...
              more   Five fully vaccinated California residents contracted the Omicron COVID variant while attending a wedding in Wisconsin, various reports say. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that no cases have been contracted by residents at this time, however Wisconsin’s Department of Health (DHS) is investigating the “outbreak.” “DHS and the City of Milwaukee Health Department are actively reaching out to all Wisconsinites who were close contacts, and isolation and quarantine protocols are being followed,” DHS reportedly said in a statement. The cases were contracted on November 27 at a wedding in Milwaukee County, local health officials shared. “The five people who have confirmed omicron cases are part of a group of 12 vaccinated people in Alameda County, California, who have tested positive for COVID,” the Almeda County Department of Public Health confirmed. The health agency said one of the positive individuals attended the wedding after traveling internationally. The other seven individuals in Almeda County who have tested positive are not confirmed to have contracted Omicron or not. The five Omicron cases are “mildly symptomatic cases,” according to health officials. It...
    LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals surged past 600 Saturday, amid concern over another possible autumn and winter surge in infections and the presence of the new Omicron variant in Los Angeles County.There were 610 COVID patients at county hospitals as of Saturday, up from 572 on Friday, according to the latest state figures. Of those, 146 were in intensive care, up just one from Friday.The county also reported 2,307 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and 20 additional deaths associated with the virus, raising its cumulative totals to 1,534,720 cases and 27,442 fatalities since the pandemic began. The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1% as of Friday.Meanwhile, a rapid-testing site opened at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday to offer free -- but voluntary -- COVID tests for arriving international passengers.The COVID testing at the Tom Bradley International Terminal is being offered strictly on a voluntary basis, since there is no federal requirement for inbound passengers to be tested."The federal government is highly recommending...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — The first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services Saturday detected the newsest variant in a man who is a Milwaukee County resident. He recently returned from a trip to South Africa, where the variant was first discovered in November. The man was fully vaccinated and had also received a booster dose, according to a release from the department. The man was not required to be hospitalized, and contact tracing has been completed. “We’ve been prepared for this news and will continue trusting the science to help keep Wisconsinites and our communities healthy and safe,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “Now is the time to double down on our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. I urge all eligible Wisconsinites to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose as soon as possible and to follow the latest public health guidance.” The first case of the variant detected in the United States was discovered in California.  
    (CNN)US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin addressed recent Chinese military advancements Saturday, including the test of a hypersonic weapon system and strengthening of nuclear capabilities, saying, "America isn't a country that fears competition." During the Reagan National Defense Forum's keynote address, Austin said the US is ready to face China's military rise and is working to "support Taiwan's ability to defend itself" while "not seeking an Asian version of NATO or trying to build an anti-China coalition.""We're facing a formidable challenge," the defense chief said of China at the event. "And we're going to meet this one with confidence and resolve -- not panic and pessimism."Austin joined other top leaders in the defense industry to express the importance of strengthening ties between the US and allied nations, sounding the alarm on the threat China and Russia pose, as both nations continue to build up aggressive defenses not seen since World War II."In war and in peace, we are always stronger when we work together with our friends," Austin said.Read MoreFive US lawmakers defy China by meeting with officials in TaiwanAustin...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has identified the first case of the Omicron variant in Wisconsin on Saturday. One case of the Omicron variant has been identified from a Wisconsin man who recently traveled to South Africa, according to a release. READ MORE: 5 California Residents Infected with Omicron After Wisconsin WeddingThe man is a Milwaukee County resident who is fully vaccinated and had received a booster dose, said the release. He reported mild symptoms. “We’ve been prepared for this news and will continue trusting the science to help keep Wisconsinites and our communities healthy and safe,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “Now is the time to double down on our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. I urge all eligible Wisconsinites to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose as soon as possible and to follow the latest public health guidance.” READ MORE: 'The Right Decision For Us': More Twin Cities Bars, Restaurants Requiring Proof Of VaccinationThe Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021 and has spread...
    DENVER (CBS)- The battle against COVID-19 continues in Colorado, but the battlefield is changing. The omicron variant is beginning to spread in Colorado. Two people have been diagnosed with the new mutation, and both were fully vaccinated. Regardless, doctors say vaccination is still the best defense. (credit: CBS) READ MORE: Section Of Clear Creek Canyon Reopened After Injured Hiker RescuedIn an effort to get more people vaccinated and give out COVID-19 vaccination boosters, the state decided to set up their mobile vaccine clinic outside of Ball Arena every time they have an event in December. People who showed up on Saturday, during the first event, said makes it was extremely convenient. (credit: CBS) Jenny Adelman attended an ice-skating event at Ball Arena Saturday. She was already fully vaccinated, but after searching for a place to get a booster with no luck, this opportunity just kind of fell into her lap. “We were at the event and it was an easy option to just get my booster and just put this all behind me,” she said. READ...
    A recent Norwegian omicron outbreak at a Christmas party provides early anecdotal evidence on how the variants spreads between vaccinated people and the severity of its symptoms, according to a recent report. A renewable energy company in Norway made sure all necessary safety precautions were implemented before hosting their annual holiday party, including only inviting vaccinated employees and requiring rapid testing the day prior the party, according to Stian Tvede Karlsen, a company spokesman. CONTACT TRACING REVS UP IN SOME STATES AS OMICRON REACHES U.S. The party was held at an upscale Oslo restaurant for approximately 120 people, including several who recently traveled to South Africa, where the company has a solar panel business. A health worker takes a swab sample of a passenger entering the city to test for COVID-19 at a railway station in Ahmedabad, India, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. India on Thursday confirmed its first cases of the omicron coronavirus variant in two people and officials said one arrived from South Africa and the other had no travel history. A top medical expert urged people to...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals surged past 600 Saturday, amid concern over another possible autumn and winter surge in infections and the presence of the new Omicron variant in Los Angeles County. There were 610 COVID patients at county hospitals as of Saturday, up from 572 on Friday, according to the latest state figures. Of those, 146 were in intensive care, up just one from Friday. READ MORE: Woman Struck While Fighting Off Burglars Ransacking Her Bellflower HomeAlso Saturday, the county reported 2,307 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional deaths associated with the virus, raising its cumulative totals to 1,534,720 cases and 27,442 fatalities since the pandemic began. The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1% as of Friday. Meanwhile, a rapid-testing site opened at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday to offer free — but voluntary — COVID tests for arriving international passengers. The COVID testing at the Tom Bradley International Terminal is being offered strictly on a voluntary basis, since there is...
    BOSTON (CBS) — The Omicron coronavirus variant has been found in a Massachusetts woman, the Department of Public Health announced Saturday. The woman, who is in her 20s, is a resident of Middlesex County who traveled out of state. The woman was fully vaccinated and did not require hospitalization. The arrival of Omicron – called a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization – comes as Massachusetts experiences its highest number of coronavirus cases since January. The first U.S. case of Omicron was detected in California on Wednesday, and multiple states have reported cases of the variant since then. President Joe Biden has announced steps to tackle Omicron and the ongoing Delta surge, including stricter testing requirements for international travelers, ordering insurance companies to cover at-home COVID tests and setting up family vaccine clinics to encourage vaccination. Health officials say the majority of Omicron cases appear to be mild so far, but there’s also concern that the variant’s significant number of mutations could escape antibody protection, especially from those who had a previous COVID infection. Scientists are working to...
    It is not a secret that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) does not think very highly of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci. However, while Paul continues to have doubts about Fauci’s insights and advice, he urged viewers of FNC’s “Hannity” to ignore Fauci on Friday. “Virtually none of the edicts or the promulgations that come from Fauci’s mouth are based in science at all,” he said. “Take the idea that we’re now going to test the day of travel. The rapid test is accurate about between 30 and 50% if you don’t have symptoms. So most people traveling, if they know they’re sick, are going to not travel. So, most of the people we’re talking about are traveling are without symptoms. The test is 30 to 50% accurate. The Omicron variant is already across the United States and across the world. No travel ban is going to stop it, and no amount of testing is going to stop it.” “But think about this — Fauci now says if you know someone’s been vaccinated, you don’t have...
    SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — More than 9,000 youth ages 5-to-11 living in Sonoma County have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since it became available a month ago, according to health officials. That represents 25 percent of the Sonoma County residents in that age group. Health officials said that 75 percent of eligible county residents who are age 5 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while another 38,428 residents, or 8 percent of the county’s eligible population of 470,488 residents, have been partially vaccinated. READ MORE: Alameda County Omicron Variant Outbreak Victims Attended Wisconsin Wedding Last WeekendThe pediatric vaccine campaign began Oct. 20, featuring clinics at multiple school sites. The county aims to vaccinate half of eligible children by Jan. 31 and 70 percent by Feb. 28. Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s health officer, congratulated parents for getting their children vaccinated and emphasized the importance of vaccines as winter could lead to a rise in COVID-19 cases. READ MORE: Porsche Theft Suspect Arrested On Docked Cruise Ship; Three Illegal Bay Area Chop Shops Busted“We...
    A COVID-19 testing facility is advertised at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 30, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey.Spencer Platt | Getty Images More than 20 people across 10 U.S. states have tested positive for the omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19. The patients range in age, vaccination status and travel history, but none of them have developed severe disease so far. While some patients had recently traveled in southern Africa, where the variant was first detected, others had no travel history, indicating that community transmission is underway in the U.S. "We absolutely have community spread in this country," Dr. Anthony Fauci told Bloomberg Television on Friday. "We don't know how many of them, but there's no doubt there's community spread." Scientists and public health officials are still collecting data on whether omicron is more transmissible, better evades immune protection from vaccines, and/or causes more severe disease than other variants. Those who have tested positive in the U.S. have all shown mild to moderate symptoms and none of the patients have been hospitalized so far, according to the...
    Editor’s note: Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on December 3. If you’re planning to travel to Hawaii, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic. The basics Hawaii has aligned its entry policy for international travelers with federal policy for air travelers that went effect on November 8, requiring international arrivals to be fully vaccinated and have a negative Covid-19 test result. From now until December 5, fully vaccinated travelers still have three days to take the test before departure. Starting Monday, December 6, all inbound international travelers will be required to test within one day of departure for the United States, regardless of vaccination status. This does not affect domestic travel. It’s part of a general tightening of US travel rules because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. In...
    BERLIN (AP) — Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday made what is likely her final appeal before leaving office next week for Germans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Merkel gave what is expected to be her last weekly video message two days after federal and state leaders decided on a series of measures meant to break a wave of coronavirus infections. The measures include excluding unvaccinated people across the country from nonessential stores, restaurants and sports and cultural venues. In a longer-term move, parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate. At least 68.9% of Germans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, short of the government’s aim of a minimum 75% vaccination rate. The number of unvaccinated residents has been blamed as a key factor in a surge of new virus cases in recent weeks. Official figures suggest that the infection rate may now be stabilizing, but at too high a level. The national disease control center on Saturday reported 64,510 new daily cases and a 7-day infection rate of 442.7 new cases per 100,000 residents. Another 378 deaths...
    (CNN)Brazil's Supreme Court has ordered an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro's false claim that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 may have a higher risk of contracting AIDS.Bolsonaro made the untruthful claims in a live video broadcast on multiple social media platforms in October. He was temporarily suspended from both Facebook and YouTube following the comments. Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes launched the inquiry in response to a request by the country's parliamentary commission which has been investigating Bolsonaro's government's response to the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement posted from the court's official Twitter account Friday.Bolsonaro has been widely criticized at home and abroad for playing down the severity of the virus, including discouraging people to get vaccinated, despite Brazil battling one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world. The parliamentary commission has had access to documents that show the government ignored at least 81 vaccine offers from Pfizer in 2020.Read MoreBrazilian senators recommend Bolsonaro be charged with crimes against humanity over pandemicAccording to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, Covid-19 vaccines...
              moreby Eric Lendrum   On Thursday, the state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit to exempt members of the state’s National Guard from the nationwide coronavirus vaccine mandate, The Hill reports. The suit, filed in federal court by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.), names Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as defendants. The suit requests that the courts declare the national vaccine mandate for all members of the armed services to be unconstitutional, and thus enjoin the federal government from enforcing it on the Oklahoma National Guard; the suit also seeks to prevent the federal government from imposing its penalty for refusal to comply, which would include withholding federal funds from the state’s National Guard. “This mandate ensures that many Oklahoma National Guard members will simply quit instead of getting a vaccine,” the suit reads in part, “a situation that will irreparably harm Oklahomans’ safety and security.” Austin, a former Raytheon executive, ordered the entirety of the military to get vaccinated back in August. Among the various deadlines for individual branches was December 2nd, the final...
    Authorities identified five mildly symptomatic COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant in Alameda County, public health officials announced Friday. The patients are among 12 coronavirus cases in the area traced to a Nov. 27 wedding in Wisconsin, which one of the patients attended after traveling abroad, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department. A state lab used genomic sequencing to identify the five Omicron variant cases, but officials said such testing was not yet available for the remaining seven coronavirus cases. The patients are between the ages of 18 and 49, officials said. One person is a Berkeley resident; the remaining 11 are county residents. California Can Omicron overtake the Delta variant? Here’s what it will take Delta, so far, has been able to elbow out all other variants that otherwise might have spread more widely. Will that be the case with Omicron too? All 12 people were vaccinated and most had received boosters, officials said. None was hospitalized. Public health officials are notifying those who’ve been in close...
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday on MSNBC’s “The Beat” that COVID-19 will likely become an endemic virus that has a constant presence like influenza. Melber said, “You have repeatedly emphasized Delta, and the facts do bear out that that’s the main thing getting people sick and killing people, especially the unvaccinated. Given the rate of vaccination in the United States and the indications that there are large groups choosing not to get vaccinated, is the CDC’s view that this will not be eradicated, that we will have to deal with COVID and its mutations over the multi-year-long term?” Walensky said, “We have seen now that this is likely to become an endemic disease here in the United States, and really around the world. We have many diseases that are endemic. Influenza being one of them. They cause us minor challenges year after year that we can handle and tackle. That may very well be what happens with COVID.” She added, “But I think you raise a really important point. We still now...
    LANSING, Mich. (CBS Detroit) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is updating guidance for schools amid a COVID surge. According to the department: You isolate when you are infected with COVID-19 and have tested positive, even if you do not have symptoms. Isolation is used to separate people who are infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected.  You quarantine when you might have been exposed to COVID-19. This is because you might become infected with COVID-19 and could spread COVID-19 to others.  Any individual that displays COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should not attend school and should be tested for COVID-19.  READ MORE: More Than 100 Michigan Schools Close Due To Copycat Threats After Oxford High ShootingThe department is also recommending universal masking for all K-12 schools. READ MORE: Parents Of Oxford Shooting Suspect Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter, Authroities Searching For Them“Schools have the ability to be safe now that children ages 5 and older can be vaccinated,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive at MDHHS. “We continue to urge all eligible residents to get the safe...
    BROCKTON (CBS) – Governor Charlie Baker got a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Shaw’s Center in Brockton Friday, urging others to do the same, especially in light of the Omicron variant. “The science on this one’s clear, the vaccines do help keep people from getting very sick from this virus and the booster provides an extra layer of protection that will be especially important heading into the winter months,” Baker said. READ MORE: Car Involved In Holbrook Crash Was Stolen From Amazon Driver, Police SayHe’s hoping rapid testing will slow Omicron’s spread. “It’s a terrific tool for everybody to be able to access that kind of technology and to be able to use it quickly and simply and inexpensively,” Baker said. “I do believe that can make a really big difference.” READ MORE: Mayor Wu Plans To Relocate Homeless Living At Mass And Cass By End Of YearBut the governor maintains that vaccines are the best protection. At the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, lead pediatrician Dr. Janemarie Dolan says vaccinations among 5 to 11-year-olds...
    BERKELEY (CBS SF) — At least five people in Alameda County have been diagnosed with the COVID omicron variant, with the five among 12 local COVID cases all linked to a wedding last week, health authorities announced Friday. The Alameda County Public Health Department said in a press release a state lab used genomic sequencing to identify the five people infected with the omicron variant, each who were reported to be “mildly symptomatic.” They were among 12 people between the ages of 18 and 49 all linked to a November 27th wedding in Wisconsin. READ MORE: 2 Students Arrested in Separate Santa Rosa School Threats, 1 With Loaded GunOne of those who attended the wedding had just returned from international travel. All 12 of the individuals had been vaccinated and most had received boosters, the health department said. One person is a Berkeley resident and the remaining 11 are residents of Alameda County. None have been hospitalized. READ MORE: Man Found Dead In San Jose Home Over Thanksgiving Weekend, Ruled As HomicideAside from the five cases confirmed to be the...
    DENVER (CBS4) — In recent weeks, Colorado health experts have seen a big interest in Coloradans wanting to get their booster shots. Doctors said most of the interest is coming from people who are already vaccinated, and not from those who are unvaccinated, and want to start the series of COVID-19 vaccines. (Photo by Andriy Andriyenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) READ MORE: RTD, TSA, Denver Police And Colorado Guardian Angels Stepping Up Patrols At Troubled Union Station“More and more people are getting their boosters shots, they’ve certainly been encouraged to do so,” said Dr. James Neid, an infectious disease physician at the Medical Center of Aurora. “As the pandemic continues to smolder or worsen, I think the need for boosters increases and in fact, that’s what the recommendations are suggesting.” According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as of Dec. 2, there are over 1,065,996 eligible people in the state who’ve gotten their booster shot. Colorado has over 1,700 providers administering vaccines and boosters — one of those sites is Denver Health. READ...
    From Ga DPH: The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has been notified of a Georgia resident currently in New Jersey who has tested positive for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. The individual recently traveled from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling on to New Jersey where the testing and sequencing were done. The individual is fully vaccinated,  and is isolating in New Jersey. Contact tracing is underway there and in Georgia to identify close contacts at risk of infection. So far, no additional Omicron cases in Georgia have been identified. “Vaccination and boosters are key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and help prevent new variants like Omicron from emerging,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Only 51% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and of those individuals less than 20% have received booster doses.” Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time. Early data...
    Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday admitted that public health officials have yet to prove if vaccines and boosters protect against the Omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus but urged people to get vaccinated and boosted anyway, regardless of the current lack of data. During a Friday White House press briefing, Fauci went through a series of slides on vaccines and boosters, looking at the data on the Delta variant, which is currently most prominent in the U.S. Notably, Fauci did not mention his previous admission that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collecting data on breakthrough infections that is not readily available to the public. Ultimately, Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky repeatedly urged Americans to get vaccinated and boosted throughout the press conference, yet Fauci admitted that they have not yet proven that vaccines will be effective against the Omicron variant. “Although we haven’t proven it yet, there’s every reason to believe that if you get vaccinated and boosted that you would have at least some degree of cross-protection, very likely against severe disease, even against...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia health officials say the first confirmed case of the new COVID-19 omicron variant has been identified in the city. Officials say a male resident in his 30’s from Northwest Philadelphia has tested positive for the omicron variant. The health department is working to get more information regarding the case and is working with the state health department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. READ MORE: Family Of Fallen Delaware County Firefighter Has Mortgage Fully Paid OffThe city says they were first notified of this through the state and the health commissioner says they believe there may be more cases out there. “It is not unexpected that we would see omicron here in Philadelphia,” Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. “Just because there is a case of this new variant here does not mean it’s too late to take precautions. There are things that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. This is not like when we first saw COVID cases. We know what works, and we’ve been doing a great...
    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- New worries are looming over the holiday travel season as the omicron variant of COVID-19 begins to take hold in the United States.Already there have been cases of the variant reported in Los Angeles and other parts of California. Still, health officials say delta remains the most prevalent and worrisome of the COVID-19 variants.With that in mind, travelers are reminded that testing is more important than ever.For anyone visiting or returning to the United States from abroad, the Biden administration is now requiring all international incoming passengers to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding a flight.Many foreign destinations also have similar requirements.At Los Angeles International Airport, international travelers are taking advantage of free, rapid COVID-19 tests offered by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health."I think it's honestly beneficial to have that," said Ivana, a traveler heading to Sweden.Testing before boarding her flight to Sweden gives her peace of mind. The voluntary testing service at the Tom Bradley International Terminal started Friday."People will be able to get their results before they leave the...
    The omicron variant of the coronavirus has been reported in the U.S., including in Maryland on Friday, but Dr. Anthony Fauci said that although this latest variant is obviously of some concern, it’s “nothing to panic about” right now. That’s because “we don’t know everything about it,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. Among the unknowns are whether the omicron variant makes people sicker and whether it can evade vaccines and boosters. Fauci, who spoke to WTOP on Friday, said more information might initially come from South Africa, where omicron was first identified. Scientists in South Africa recently reported that preliminary findings suggested omicron may cause increased reinfections among people who’ve already had COVID-19. Scientists have also observed that omicron appears to have a good degree of capability of transmission, and is possibly more transmissible than the delta variant. “So what we need to do is just keep just keep following the situation, getting as much information and data as we can,” Fauci told...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City is imposing a new COVID vaccine mandate on all staff at private schools, including religious and non-government school workers. The order applies to about 56,000 employees at 938 schools across the city, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Friday. But is it enforceable? READ MORE: Suffolk County Police Officer Timothy Thrane Released From Hospital 1 Month After Being Hit By Alleged Drunk DriverMayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Health announced all non-public school employees must get their first shot by Dec. 20. According to the city, the order aligns with what the CDC recommends — that teachers and staff be vaccinated as soon as possible. Officials said the city will offer vaccines to any schools that requests them for staff and students. The Archdiocese of New York released a statements that said, in part, “An increasing majority of our teachers and school staffs have already been vaccinated, and we continue to urge others to do so; those that are not vaccinated are tested weekly.” “We will review the mandate to determine this order’s...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Miami Police Chief Rene Landa says he is alarmed and troubled by a new published report about how many officers have died as a result of the coronavirus. CBS4 News partner “The Miami Herald” reports that 28 of the 33 officers who have died in the line of duty in the past two years have been killed by COVID-19. READ MORE: Video Helps Identify Accused Porch Pirate In Fort Lauderdale, Suspect May Be Part Of Organized RingThe newspaper reports that Florida accounts for more than 10 percent of all COVID-19 deaths and that most victims are in their 40s and 50s. Landa, who is President of the Miami-Dade Association of Chiefs of Police, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “It is amazing that normally the two top killers of police are gunfire and car accidents but now COVID has moved ahead of that for our officers.” Landa said, “People have to get vaccinated. That is what we emphasize with our officers. We are not forcing officers to do that. We can’t do that. But we advise them...
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) begged parents to get their children vaccinated “right away,” while New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) instructed parents to also “ensure” that children are masked up as well, making the remarks Thursday during a joint press conference detailing cases of the omicron variant popping up in the Empire State. “We know we now have cases here in New York City,” de Blasio said of the omicron variant. “We have to assume that means there’s community spread. We have to assume that means we’re going to see a lot more cases. But we also have tremendous tools as the governor said.” The mayor identified the vaccination apparatus as the “best capacity to protect everyone against this variant or any other form of COVID,” despite the fact that Hochul, mere minutes before, admitted they “don’t have specific information on how the vaccines are holding up or the boosters are holding up to this variant.” What is more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not provided detailed information on the number of breakthrough cases...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 11,000 members of the Air National Guard and Reserve did not meet Thursday’s deadline to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and could begin to face consequences if they don’t get the mandated shots or receive an exemption. Air Guard members who report for their monthly drill this weekend will be allowed to participate and will be paid — whether they are vaccinated or not, but those without shots will have the opportunity to get the vaccine when they report to their base, according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek. There are about 107,000 Air Guard members and 68,000 in the Reserves, and about 3,500 have received medical or administrative exemptions. The unvaccinated total, however, could be a bit lower than the data show so far. Officials have cautioned that the information for the Guard and Reserves may lag, as some of the citizen airmen could have gotten shots at local pharmacies and have not yet filed their data with the service. “Unvaccinated Air National Guard members will report to duty for the drill weekend as usual,”...
    Aaron Rodgers flaunts the NFL/NFLPA coronavirus protocols and gets a fine that barely shows up in his paycheck. Antonio Brown and two others do the same and get three-game suspensions. What gives? It’s complicated, but in some ways it’s also pretty simple why the Packers quarterback was fined $14,650, a sum negotiated between the league and the players’ union while developing the COVID-19 protocols. And why Brown, teammate Mike Edwards and former Buccaneers player John Franklin III took a much bigger hit for falsifying vaccination documents. Rodgers was fined for not wearing a mask in some instances, at a Halloween party and during press conferences. A joint investigation by the NFL and union revealed that he was wearing a mask at other points and complied with the protocols. Rodgers did mislead the public and the media, but he informed the club — which told the NFL — and his teammates of his status. Indeed, everyone in his ecosystem was aware he was not vaccinated, and he was testing for COVID-19 daily, and social distancing at the team facility. It was...
    Maryland is reporting its first three cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday afternoon. All three cases are in people from the Baltimore area. Two cases involve people from the same household: a vaccinated person who recently traveled to South Africa, where the variant was first identified, and an unvaccinated person who was a close contact. The third case appears to be unrelated, involving a vaccinated Marylander with no known recent travel history. None of three people have been hospitalized. The variant’s presence was confirmed by lab testing. This is a developing story and will be updated.