EXPLAINER: What does it mean for COVID-19 to be endemic?
Some European countries such as Spain are making tentative plans for when they might start treating COVID-19 as an “endemic” disease, but the World Health Organization and other officials have warned that the world is nowhere close to declaring the pandemic over.
Europe considers new COVID-19 strategy: accepting the virus
Now, almost two years later, Spain is preparing to adopt a different COVID-19 playbook. With one of Europe's highest vaccination rates and its most pandemic-battered economies, the government is laying the groundwork to treat the next infection surge not as an emergency but an illness that is here to stay. Spain's center-left prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, wants the Europe Union to consider similar changes now that the surge of the omicron variant has shown that the disease is becoming less lethal.news.yahoo.com
Experts now recommend N95 masks to combat omicron
Health experts suggest stepping up protection against omicron with N95s, KN95s or similar masks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance to recommend people wear masks now used by healthcare workers. (Jan. 19)news.yahoo.com
COVID-19 update: Florida reports 43,179 new cases, steady hospitalizations as omicron surge continues to ease
Florida reported 43,179 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing the 7-day average to its lowest level since Dec. 30 as hospitalizations continued to hold steady, further signs that the state's omicron surge is continuing to ease. Here are the latest statistics.sun-sentinel.com
CDC report finds prior infection provided strong protection against COVID-19 in 2021, but experts warn it's 'playing with dynamite' to get sick on purpose
Though vaccination was superior to prior infection during the Alpha wave, the Delta variant changed that, according to new CDC data.news.yahoo.com
Florida suspends health official in probe over vaccine law
A health official who has helped lead central Florida's response to the pandemic has been put on administrative leave as state officials investigate whether he tried to compel employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in violation of state law. The state health agency is conducting an inquiry into Raul Pino, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, “to determine if any laws were broken in this case,” Florida Department of Health press secretary Jeremy Redfern said in an email. A measure Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last fall prohibits government agencies from implementing vaccine mandates and restricts private businesses from having vaccine requirements unless they allow workers to opt out for medical reasons, religious beliefs, immunity based on a previous infection, regular testing or an agreement to wear protective gear.news.yahoo.com
US faces wave of omicron deaths in coming weeks, models say
The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, but COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing and modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die by the time the wave subsides in mid-March. The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been trending upward since mid-November, reaching nearly 1,700 on Jan. 17 — still below the peak of 3,300 in January 2021. Despite signs omicron causes milder disease on average, the unprecedented level of infection spreading through the country, with cases still soaring in many states, means many vulnerable people will become severely sick.news.yahoo.com
COVID-19 health emergency could be over this year, WHO says
The worst of the coronavirus pandemic — deaths, hospitalizations and lockdowns — could be over this year if huge inequities in vaccinations and medicines are addressed quickly, the head of emergencies at the World Health Organization said Tuesday. Dr. Michael Ryan, speaking during a panel discussion on vaccine inequity hosted by the World Economic Forum, said “we may never end the virus” because such pandemic viruses “end up becoming part of the ecosystem.” WHO has slammed the imbalance in COVID-19 vaccinations between rich and poor countries as a catastrophic moral failure.news.yahoo.com
A year ago, Biden unveiled a 200-page plan to defeat covid. He has struggled to deliver on some key promises.
The U.S. would have have been better prepared for virus curveballs if the administration had moved more quickly to boost testing, acquire real-time data on the virus and convey risks more clearly, say some coauthors, adviserswashingtonpost.com
TIMELINE: Novak Djokovic's bid to compete at Australian Open
Novak Djokovic’s attempt to stave off deportation and be allowed to play in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19 is headed for a legal hearing the day before he is scheduled to begin his title defense at a Grand Slam tournament he’s won a record nine times.
Union, parents mull if Chicago teacher standoff was worth it
Chicago schools will offer more COVID-19 testing and have standards to close school related to infection rates, but the cost of a bitter union battle and five days of missed schools has parents and union members questioning if it was worth it.