Omicron

Omicron explosion spurs nationwide breakdown of services

Omicron explosion spurs nationwide breakdown of services

By  JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER and TERRY TANG, Associated Press Troy Warren for CNT #COVID-19  #EditorsPicks The explosion in omicron-fueled coronavirus infections has caused a breakdown in basic functions and services across America 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…
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Wave of canceled flights from omicron closes out 2021

Wave of canceled flights from omicron closes out 2021

By DAVID KOENIG, Associated Press Troy Warren for CNT #Travel  #COVID-19 Flight cancellations surged again on the last day of 2021, with airlines blaming it on crew shortages related to the spike in COVID-19 infections More canceled flights frustrated air travelers on the final day of 2021 and appeared all but certain to inconvenience hundreds of thousands more over the New Year's holiday weekend. Airlines blamed many of the cancellations on crew shortages related to the spike in COVID-19 infections, along with wintry weather in parts of the United States. United Airlines, which suffered the most cancellations among the biggest U.S. carriers,…
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T cells come to the rescue as studies show they buck omicron

T cells come to the rescue as studies show they buck omicron

By Marthe Fourcade - Bloomberg News (TNS) Michelle Fay Cortez - Bloomberg News (TNS) Troy Warren for CNT #Health An unsung arm of the immune system appears to protect against severe disease with the omicron variant even when antibodies wane, helping to explain why a record wave of infections hasn’t engulfed hospitals so far. T cells, the body’s weapon against virus-infected cells, were primed enough by vaccination that they defended against omicron in separate studies from Erasmus University in the Netherlands and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The findings could help explain why the wave of omicron cases hasn’t so…
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Omicron causes Christmas Eve flight cancellations

Omicron causes Christmas Eve flight cancellations

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Troy Warren for CNT #Travel  #COVID-19 The omicron variant of COVID-19 is contributing to cancellations of some flights scheduled for Christmas Eve. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said late Thursday it has canceled 90 flights scheduled for Friday due to a combination of issues, including the impact of the omicron variant and the potential for bad weather. By morning, the total had risen to 135 flight cancellations for Friday. Delta said it had “exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crew to cover scheduled flying” before moving forward on the flight cancellations, which make…
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Case drop may show South Africa’s omicron peak has passed

Case drop may show South Africa’s omicron peak has passed

By ANDREW MELDRUM, Associated Press Troy Warren for CNT #COVID-19 South Africa’s drop in new COVID-19 cases in recent days may signal the country’s dramatic omicron-driven surge has passed its peak, medical experts say JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's noticeable drop in new COVID-19 cases in recent days may signal that the country's dramatic omicron-driven surge has passed its peak, medical experts say. Daily virus case counts are notoriously unreliable, as they can be affected by uneven testing, reporting delays and other fluctuations. But they are offering one tantalizing hint — far from conclusive yet — that omicron infections may recede…
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Dr. Fauci Comments on Air Travel and Omicron Variant

Dr. Fauci Comments on Air Travel and Omicron Variant

RICH THOMASELLI | TravelPulse.Com Troy Warren for CNT #Travel  #COVID-19 A small piece of optimistic news from the White House’s chief medical advisor. Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week that, right now, he would have no issues getting on a plane and flying despite the fact that the COVID-19 Omicron variant is “spreading very efficiently,” he told CNBC in an interview. “If I had to I would have no problem getting on an airplane. I’m vaccinated. I’m boosted. I know we have to wear a mask on an airplane,” he said during an appearance Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program. Fauci…
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Can you safely enjoy the holidays? Experts offer COVID tips

Can you safely enjoy the holidays? Experts offer COVID tips

By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Troy Warren for CNT #COVID-19 The delta and omicron variants of the coronavirus are trying to spoil the holiday spirit, but there still are ways to enjoy the festivities The explosive spread of the omicron variant is causing many to wonder if they should cancel their holiday plans. The omicron mutation is expected to overtake the delta variant in the United States within weeks. Health experts know that people need to spend time together, so they are offering advice. Above all, getting vaccinated remains the best defense and getting a booster shot further increases protection.…
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Omicron-stricken South Africa may be glimpse into the future

Omicron-stricken South Africa may be glimpse into the future

By ANDREW MELDRUM, Associated Press Troy Warren for CNT #COVID-19  #EditorsPicks The new omicron variant appears to be driving a dramatic surge in South Africa, providing the world a glimpse of where the pandemic might be headed JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Dr. Sikhulile Moyo was analyzing COVID-19 samples in his lab in Botswana last week when he noticed they looked startlingly different from others. Within days, the world was ablaze with the news that the coronavirus had a new variant of concern — one that appears to be driving a dramatic surge in South Africa and offering a glimpse of where the pandemic might be headed. New COVID-19…
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Omicron Variant: What Travelers Need To Know

Omicron Variant: What Travelers Need To Know

LACEY PFALZ | TravelPulse.Com Troy Warren for CNT #Travel  #COVID-19   The Omicron variant is the newest COVID-19 variant to gain worldwide attention when it was discovered last week, prompting governments worldwide to close international travel to and from Southern African countries, its region of origin. Already, the U.K. changed its entry requirements for all international travelers, requiring a rigorous testing regime and a self-isolation period. Four of the nation’s largest airports are screening for the Omicron variant among international travelers, while the Biden administration has extended its mask mandate for federal transportation through March 2022 as well as new COVID-19 testing requirements for inbound international travelers. Those new requirements…
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World Health Organization Against Omicron Travel Bans

World Health Organization Against Omicron Travel Bans

JANEEN CHRISTOFF | TravelPulse.Com Troy Warren for CNT #Travel  #COVID-19   The World Health Organization praised the countries of South Africa and Botswana for their swift identification of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 and criticized travel restrictions. "Travel restrictions may play a role in slightly reducing the spread of COVID-19 but place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods," said WHO's regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti in a statement. "If restrictions are implemented, they should not be unnecessarily invasive or intrusive, and should be scientifically based, according to the International Health Regulations, which is a legally binding instrument of…
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