PORTLAND, Oregon – On Monday, Oregon reported more than 9,700 new COVID-19 cases from the holiday weekend, shattering the previous weekly coronavirus case record with an average of nearly 2,400 new cases each day as the omicron form took hold.
On Thursday, the state set a new high for new cases in a single day, with 3,534 confirmed or suspected illnesses.
Hospitalizations, on the other hand, remained stable at 498 persons, less than half of the previous high. Eleven people were killed, according to reports.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, 18.2% of COVID-19 tests given during the long weekend were positive for the virus, the highest rate to date.
THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW:
— What will be the outcome of the pandemic? Endgame forecasts from Omicron clouds
— According to Fauci, the CDC may impose a test requirement for infected patients who are no longer isolated.
— Austin, the Pentagon chief, has tested positive for COVID.
WHAT’S GOING ON ELSEWHERE TODAY:
JACKSON, Miss. — As new instances of COVID-19 emerge hospitalizations are fast increasing in Mississippi.
695 persons with confirmed COVID-19 infections were admitted to the hospital on Sunday, according to the state health department. This is up from 265 hospitalizations two weeks ago on December 19.
From Thursday to Sunday, 17,525 new instances of the virus were confirmed in the state, according to the department.
These are some of the most significant figures in recent months.
NEW ORLEANS (CBSNewYork) — Despite recent increases in COVID-19 infections, costumed revelers will kick off New Orleans’ annual Carnival season this week with a ride on a vintage streetcar, continuing a long-standing custom.
Participants “will be wearing masks covering their mouths as well as their eyes” as their streetcar rumbles down the rails on Thursday night, according to a Monday announcement from the Phunny Phorty Phellows organization.
Every year on January 6, the 12th night following Christmas, the Carnival season begins. It culminates in nearly two weeks of extravagant parades on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which this year comes on March 1.
In 2021, most celebrations, including massive parades that draw thousands of people to the streets, were mainly canceled.
In the early days of the outbreak, there were fears that the 2020 Mardi Gras festival may act as an accidental “super spreader” of coronavirus.
City officials are forging through with plans for big parades in February this year, with measures such as vaccine or testing requirements for float riders and customers of bars, restaurants, and other public areas.
Last week, Louisiana’s governor reported the state is breaking records for new COVID-19 diagnoses, and the omicron variant outbreak is only getting started.
TOPEKA, Kan. — Topeka, Kan., is a city in Kansas. The number of new confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases in Kansas has reached an all-time high.
Kansas recorded an average of 3,134 new COVID-19 cases every day for the seven days ending Monday, according to state health department data released Monday. This is up 13% from the previous high of 2,767 cases per day set for the seven days ending November 18, 2020.
More than 534,000 cases of the pandemic have been reported in Kansas, which is more than one in every six of the state’s 2.9 million citizens.
For the seven days ending Monday, the state saw an average of 38 new COVID-19 hospitalizations and 11 new reported deaths every day. The fresh figures were released as rumors of the omicron strain spreading across the state began to surface.
While the average number of new hospitalizations isn’t high, hospitals are nevertheless under strain from new patients and personnel infections.
PHOENIX (AP) — On Monday, Arizona health officials announced the newest COVID-19 infections in a year.
Except for Jan. 3, 2020, when more than 17,000 new cases were counted, the 14,192 new cases were the most ever recorded in a single day.
The new case tally was boosted by lower-than-normal reporting on Sunday, when only 701 new cases were reported, according to the state Health Services Department. However, the state claims that the number of cases has been steadily increasing in recent days.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arizona has climbed dramatically in the last two weeks, from 2,945 on Dec. 18 to 5,051 on Jan. 1.
On Monday, the state recorded no additional deaths and only one on Sunday, bringing the total number of persons who have died in Arizona from the virus to 24,355 since the pandemic began in early 2020.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Congress’ senior doctor recommended legislators to adopt a “maximal telework posture,” noting an increase in COVID-19 instances at the Capitol, which he said are primarily outbreaks of persons who have already been vaccinated.
In a letter to congressional leaders acquired by The Associated Press, Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician, said that the seven-day average rate of infection at the Capitol’s testing center had jumped from less than 1% to more than 13%.
“An unusual number of illnesses in the Capitol community affecting hundreds of individuals,” Monahan said. As of Dec. 15, 61 percent of the cases were the new, highly contagious omicron variety, while 38 percent were the delta version, according to his limited sampling.
He stated, “most” of the cases are breakthroughs, but he didn’t give a figure.
While no deaths or hospitalizations have occurred among vaccinated politicians or congressional staff, Monahan claims that even minor infections can result in six to twelve months of “long COVID.” He stated that a “fair estimate” is that 6 percent to 10% of cases will end up that way.
“Reduce in-person meetings and in-office operations to the utmost extent practicable,” Monahan advised legislative offices.
MISSION (Kansas) — Hundreds of doctors and nurses are out of work as one of Kansas’ largest hospitals struggles to serve an influx of COVID-19 patients.
During a media call Monday, Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer of the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas, reported that more than 500 employees out of a staff of more than 13,000 are sick or awaiting test results.
The infections are occurring as the hospital treats 108 COVID-19 patients, up from 40 on December 1.
“We’ve had to cut back on some elective procedures and clinics, and all hospitals in our area have had to do the same thing because you have to keep your personnel safe.” “You might not have enough personnel to complete all of the tasks,” Stites added.
He claimed that immunization would have prevented all but a few of the COVID-19 patients from being admitted to the hospital, allowing more beds to be available for other patients.
“I believe what we have to remember is that COVID-19 has no effect on people who aren’t vaccinated,” Stites said. “It impacts everyone because it increases hospitalizations, which overcrowds the hospital and causes employees to become unwell, causing us to run out of people to care for everyone, forcing us to cut back.” And that’s where we’re all at right now.”
NEW ORLEANS (CBSNewYork) — To combat the coronavirus, New Orleans has implemented a new vaccine and testing requirement for children aged 5 to 11.
Children in those age categories, according to local media, must now be vaccinated or show documentation of a recent negative coronavirus test in order to access specified city sites, such as restaurants.
Coronavirus cases have risen dramatically across the country, owing to the highly contagious omicron strain.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the mandate in December. Adults and children aged 12 and up are already covered.
The coronavirus vaccine will be added to the list of mandatory vaccines for children to attend school starting Feb. 1, while families can choose to opt-out of the obligation.
PARIS, France — A government plan to demand full immunization to attend restaurants, tourism destinations, sports facilities, and other places comes up for a vote in France’s lower house of parliament on Monday.
Critics, mostly from the far right and far left, slammed it as discriminatory and chastised the administration for a series of gaffes throughout the pandemic. They also said it would be ineffectual in the face of record omicron-related infections across France.
The vaccine exemption, according to the administration, is the greatest approach to safeguard hospitals from an influx of seriously ill patients without resorting to an economically ruinous lockdown. The draught rule, according to Health Minister Olivier Veran, is not designed to restrict individual liberties, and he pointed out that the majority of virus patients in French ICUs are unvaccinated.
Hundreds of modifications have been presented to the bill, which will be debated in the Senate later this week. The lower chamber, which has the last word on the bill, is controlled by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party. It is expected to take effect on January 15th, according to the administration.
The immunization pass would be required on domestic flights, interregional trains, and buses, as well as cinemas and theatres, according to the government’s draught.
If they test negative for the virus or have recently recovered, currently unvaccinated people can receive the “health pass” required to attend such venues. Moreover, 90% of adults in France are vaccinated, while several million remain unvaccinated.
TORONTO (AP) — Because of a record number of coronavirus illnesses caused by the ultra-contagious omicron form, Ontario’s leader announced Monday that all schools in the country’s most populous province will be closed and replaced with online learning.
Indoor eating will also be closed, according to Premier Doug Ford. Gyms and movie theatres will also be closed. New infections are at an all-time high in Ontario, raising concerns about hospital capacity.
“I understand that online schooling isn’t perfect,” Ford admitted. “The fact of the matter is that omicron spreads like wildfire.”
School resumption has been postponed until at least January 17. The government only announced last week that schools would reopen on Wednesday.
Last April, schools closed for in-person learning due to record cases caused by the delta variety, but they have since reopened. In order to protect crucial care, hospitals have also been advised to halt all non-urgent surgeries and procedures.
LISBON, PRINCE OF PORTUGAL — Almost 90% of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, according to a senior Portuguese health official, had not been inoculated against the coronavirus.
Despite a recent rise in infections attributable to the omicron form, Portugal’s high vaccination coverage, which has hovered around 87 percent of the population, has allowed it to avoid the worst impacts of COVID-19, according to Deputy Health Minister António Lacerda Sales.
Portugal is registering fewer than a third of patients in hospital, fewer than a quarter in ICUs, and fewer than one-fifth of deaths compared to a year earlier, he said.
He stated on Monday that the government had no plans to postpone the scheduled return of students to school on Monday.
ROME (AP) — According to Italian news reports, at least 100 guests on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean tested positive for COVID-19.
The passengers testing positive aboard the MSC Grandiosa, which docked in Genoa on Monday, totaled 150, according to RaiNews24, an Italian state television channel.
According to the Genoa daily Il Secolo XIX, roughly 40 of those who tested positive disembarked in Genoa, while others were discharged in Civitavecchia, a port serving Rome, or Palermo, Sicily.
A request for comment from the cruise line was not immediately returned.
According to the publication, the ship had approximately 4,000 passengers on board when it arrived in Genoa after sailing from Marseille, France.
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREAN REPUBLIC — According to South Korea, the first death linked to the novel omicron strain has been confirmed.
The deceased, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, were in their 90s and lived in a nursing home in the southern city of Gwangju. The person was given a second dose of COVID-19 vaccination in October, according to the report.
Since the first case was recorded on Dec. 24, 21 people in the facility have tested positive for COVID-19, three of whom had the omicron form.
The patient was confirmed to have contracted the omicron variety after his death, according to the agency. Health officials were looking into whether another individual who died at the Gwangju facility was infected with the variation as well.
So far, 1,318 cases of the omicron variety have been confirmed in South Korea. Experts predict that it will soon supplant the delta variation as the dominant variant in South Korea.