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Omicron live updates: COVID cases could double in NYC

ABC News logo ABC News 12/11/2021
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As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.2 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 795,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 60.6% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Latest Developments

Dec 10, 5:25 PM

50M Americans receive booster shot so far

More than 50 million Americans have now received a COVID-19 booster shot, according to newly updated federal data.

More than half of fully vaccinated people 65 years and older have received a booster.

On average, about 2.03 million total shots are being administered each day, the data shows. More than half -- 1.1 million -- are booster doses.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

 
Dec 10, 3:50 PM

Significant case growth expected across much of US, cases could double in NYC 

 

The PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia predicts "significant" case growth across much of the U.S. over the next four weeks.

  Kennedy Garcia, a Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade registered nurse, prepares her personal protective equipment gear before entering the isolation room of a coronavirus disease COVID-19 patient in Farmington, N.M., Dec. 9, 2021. © Shannon Stapleton/Reuters Kennedy Garcia, a Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade registered nurse, prepares her personal protective equipment gear before entering the isolation room of a coronavirus disease COVID-19 patient in Farmington, N.M., Dec. 9, 2021.

According to forecasters, large metropolitan areas, particularly in the Northeast, are seeing significant case growth following Thanksgiving. 

Cases in the New York City area are expected to at least double through December, the forecasters said. 

People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a testing facility in Times Square, Dec. 9, 2021, in New York. © Spencer Platt/Getty Images People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a testing facility in Times Square, Dec. 9, 2021, in New York.

Metropolitan areas in New Jersey, Delaware and North Carolina are expected to see a rapid case increase, forecasters said. 

 

The forecasters also noted a "sudden" increase in cases in Florida in the last two weeks. 

 

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

 
Dec 10, 1:10 PM

No deaths among 43 omicron patients in US 

There have been no deaths and one hospitalization among the 43 known omicron patients in the U.S., according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

According to public health experts, early indications show omicron could cause less severe disease than prior variants, but it's still too early to say for sure. It's also possible that omicron only appears less severe because many of the people who have been infected have been vaccinated, younger adults.  

 

-ABC News' Sony Salzman

 
Dec 10, 11:31 AM

More than 7,400 Americans admitted to hospital with COVID each day

 

The U.S. is now reporting more than 118,000 new cases each day -- up by nearly 85% since late October, according to federal data.

 

On average, more than 7,400 Americans are being admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 each day -- a nearly 16% increase in the last week, while pediatric hospital admissions have skyrocketed by more than 40%, the data shows.

A nurse in the ICU looks into a covid patient's room filled with flowers and balloons at CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minn., Nov. 23, 2021. © The Washington Post via Getty Images A nurse in the ICU looks into a covid patient's room filled with flowers and balloons at CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minn., Nov. 23, 2021.

More than 7,600 Americans have died from COVID-19 in the last week. West Virginia currently has the country's highest death rate, followed by Wyoming, Montana and Tennessee.

 

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

 
Dec 10, 11:18 AM

Masks or proof of vaccination required in all indoor public places in New York

 

Masks will now be required in all indoor public places in New York state unless the business or venue requires proof of full vaccination, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday.

 

The new measure takes effect Monday and lasts until at least Jan. 15 as the state tries to disrupt a winter surge.

  A pharmacy in Grand Central Terminal advertises the COVID-19 vaccine, Dec. 9, 2021, in New York. © Spencer Platt/Getty Images A pharmacy in Grand Central Terminal advertises the COVID-19 vaccine, Dec. 9, 2021, in New York.

New York's seven-day average case rate has jumped by 43% since Thanksgiving, according to the governor's office.

 

"We shouldn't have reached the point where we are confronted with a winter surge, especially with the vaccine at our disposal, and I share many New Yorkers' frustration that we are not past this pandemic yet," Hochul said in a statement. "I want to thank the more than 80 percent of New Yorkers who have done the right thing to get fully vaccinated. If others will follow suit, these measures will no longer be necessary."

 
Dec 9, 7:33 PM

At least 25 states have confirmed omicron cases 

At least 25 states have now reported cases of the omicron variant, just over a week after California identified the first case in the U.S.

Iowa, Michigan and Virginia became the latest states Thursday to confirm positive cases of the new variant of concern.

 

Other states with confirmed cases include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky told the Associated Press Wednesday that most of the cases have been mild, though there has been at least one hospitalization.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

 
Dec 9, 4:22 PM

US daily case average up by nearly 83% since October

 

COVID-19-related hospital admissions in the U.S. are up by 47% in the last month, according to federal data. Nearly 80% of adult ICU beds are full.

The U.S. is now reporting more than 117,000 new cases each day. The daily case average has surged by nearly 83% since late October, according to federal data.

New Hampshire holds the nation's highest case rate, followed by Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Indiana, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York.

A soldier vaccinates a man in his car at a vaccination center in Londonderry, N.H., Feb. 4, 2021. © Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images, FILE A soldier vaccinates a man in his car at a vaccination center in Londonderry, N.H., Feb. 4, 2021.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

 
Dec 9, 2:56 PM

Over 2 million 5- to 11-year-olds fully vaccinated

Over 2 million children ages 5 to 11 are now fully vaccinated, White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar said.

These kids are among the over 200 million Americans of all ages who are now fully vaccinated, according to the White House.

 

Shahpar's tweet added, "Early evidence indicates boosters increase protection against Omicron. Get boosted!"

 

However, roughly two-thirds of parents of elementary school-aged children are either holding off on getting their younger kids vaccinated or refuse to do so, according to a poll released Thursday by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

 

Parents of teens are more willing to get their kids vaccinated, but only about half of that age group have gotten the shot so far, KFF found.

 

The new findings come despite increasing evidence that the vaccine is safe and that kids and teens are now helping to drive up case numbers.

 
Dec 9, 2:53 PM

CDC signs off, recommends boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds

CDC director Rochelle Walensky has signed off on the recommendation for Pfizer boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds.

a man sitting in a chair talking on a cell phone: A teenager receives a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Ford Field, during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to go and get their vaccines, April 6, 2021, in Detroit. © Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images, FILE A teenager receives a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Ford Field, during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to go and get their vaccines, April 6, 2021, in Detroit.

"Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants," Walensky said. "I strongly encourage adolescents ages 16 and 17 to get their booster if they are at least 6 months post their initial Pfizer vaccination series."

The FDA authorized Pfizer's booster for 16 and 17 year olds earlier on Thursday.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called this a "critical milestone."

"While new variants, including Omicron, emerge across the globe, we believe that the best way to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and any future variants is getting all eligible people fully vaccinated with the first two dose series and a booster dose as recommended," he said in a statement.

-ABC News' Cheyenne Haslett, Eric M. Strauss

 
Dec 9, 9:54 AM

US processing 1 million PCR tests per day

The U.S. is processing 1 million PCR tests each day, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton during an interview Wednesday at the CDC’s Emergency Operation Center.

  CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gives ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton a tour inside the CDC's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta, Dec. 8, 2021. © Matt Miller/ABC CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gives ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton a tour inside the CDC's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta, Dec. 8, 2021. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gives ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton a tour inside the CDC's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta, Dec. 8, 2021. © Matt Miller/ABC CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gives ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton a tour inside the CDC's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta, Dec. 8, 2021.

"That gives us a really good window as to test positivity," Walensky said. "It also gives us the samples we need in order to sequence, because we can't sequence from a rapid test."

 

"The rapid tests, I think, have another important role, and that is to empower people to help make smart decisions," Walensky said. "Don't do a test that you're not going to do anything with the information. Most people now who do a rapid test are doing so either to protect themselves or somebody who they're about to go see or some family member. And so they are generally motivated, I would say, to do the right thing with the result."

-ABC News' Eric M. Strauss, Sony Salzman

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