This live coverage has ended.For the latest coronavirus news, click here .The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with coronavirus infections topped 9,500 on Monday, surpassing the peak reached during last year’s winter wave, Gov.Kathy Hochul said.The state — and especially New York City — is once again the epicenter of the pandemic, with the hyper-infectious omicron variant fueling a rapid rise in new cases and a pair of winter holidays providing the virus ample opportunity to spread through indoor gatherings.“We’re not in a good place, I’m going to be really honest with you,” Hochul said.“This is the winter surge we predicted.”The United States was averaging more than 400,000 new cases each day as of Monday, double the previous week’s rate, according to Washington Post data , and is expected to soon hit as many as 1 million cases per day .
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, says the better way to track the variant’s impact is to look at growing hospitalizations.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Fauci said “the real bottom line that you want to be concerned about is: Are we getting protected by the vaccines from severe disease leading to hospitalization?”Here’s what to know Cardinal Wilton Gregory, head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, said he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is canceling his appearances at services this weekend.The leader of the region’s 655,000 Catholics said in a statement Friday that he tested positive after being given a rapid antigen test by a lab technician that morning as part of his pandemic routine.“I am fully vaccinated and boosted,” he said.
“I am experiencing no symptoms at this time and overall I feel quite well.Following my doctor’s guidance, I will now quarantine at home.”
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement D.C.’s biggest snow since pandemic snarls traffic, cuts power, shutters covid testing sites Return to menu By Dana Hedgpeth and Justin Wm.Moyer 10:30 p.m.Link copied Link
A winter storm dumped several inches of snow across the D.C.region Monday, bringing power outages, traffic snarls on major highways, and untimely closures of coronavirus testing sites to an area largely spared blizzards during two years of intermittent pandemic lockdowns and political unrest.As adults grappled with airport ground stops, school cancellations and the suspension of Metrobus service, children ventured outside to celebrate the most snow to fall in one storm since January 2019 — a time when antigen testing was not a holiday ritual and mask-wearing was largely confined to Halloween.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Navy ship hit with outbreak returns to sea with coronavirus-positive sailors isolated on board Return to menu By Reis Thebault and Andrew deGrandpre 9:24 p.m.Link copied Link
The U.S.Navy combat ship that was sidelined by a coronavirus outbreak among its crew last month has returned to sea, even as some sailors on board remained positive for the virus, officials said on Monday.The USS Milwaukee, a littoral combat ship with a crew of 105 plus a detachment of Coast Guard personnel and an aviation unit, had been at port in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since Dec.20, after stopping at the U.S.
military base there to refuel.The Associated Press reported that about 25 percent of the ship’s sailors had tested positive.Officials said Monday that “all affected sailors exhibited mild or no symptoms.”Cmdr.Kate Meadows, a spokeswoman for U.S.Naval Forces Southern Command, did not specify how many crew members were still positive, but said in an email to The Washington Post that they were “isolated aboard” the ship.The entire crew was not tested prior to departure, she added.“Leadership decisions are informed by fleet medical and public health experts,” Meadows said.The ship was less than a week into its months-long counternarcotics mission in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific when virus infections forced the crew to pause.“It is great to be heading back out to sea.” Cmdr.
Brian Forster, USS Milwaukee’s commanding officer, said in a statement.“The crew worked together as a team to ensure we are ready to conduct the mission.”Last week, Navy commanders said they would offer coronavirus vaccine booster shots to the crew.Even though the Navy has said it strongly recommends boosters and expects them to be required soon, they are not yet mandatory for the Milwaukee crew.The ship’s two-week layover highlighted the heated political debate over President Biden’s approach to vaccination for military personnel and other federal workers.
The Defense Department has ordered U.S.troops to receive the first round of inoculations, but has not yet announced a booster requirement.Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s top health officials have urged Americans to get the additional jab as the country confronts a wave of infections fueled by the omicron variant.
Key update More than 3,000 flights canceled Monday as airlines grapple with wintry weather, omicron variant Return to menu By Lori Aratani 9:07 p.m.Link copied Link
Air travelers found little relief Monday as flight cancellations that began Christmas Eve stretched into the new year, with a new batch of snowstorms causing widespread delays in the nation’s capital and at New York-area airports, further straining an already stressed aviation system.The day began with over 2,000 cancellations of flights within, to and from the United States, according to data tracking service FlightAware .But Monday followed a familiar pattern with the number of cancellations growing as the day wore on.Ultimately, more than 3,000 flights were canceled — the most since the holiday travel disruptions began — while topping the 2,700 flights that didn’t operate on Sunday.Since Dec.
24, when the first signs of trouble driven by the omicron variant of the coronavirus began to emerge, more than 15,000 U.S.flights have been canceled.
Wintry weather at busy hubs this week fueled more disruptions as an 11-day meltdown showed no signs of waning at the nation’s airports.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Omicron’s impact better measured by rising hospitalizations than cases, Fauci says Return to menu By Bryan Pietsch 8:45 p.m.Link copied Link
As the United States continues to see a huge spike in coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S.Fauci, says the better way to track the variant’s impact is to look at growing hospitalizations.The United States was averaging more than 400,000 new cases each day as of Monday, double the previous week’s rate, according to Washington Post data , and is expected to soon hit as many as 1 million cases per day .
Fauci, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, said “the real bottom line that you want to be concerned about is: Are we getting protected by the vaccines from severe disease leading to hospitalization?”Hospitalizations are up 31 percent from last week, and deaths increased by 37 percent, with about 1,500 Americans dying of covid-19 each day.
Experts have warned that this surge will be driven by the unvaccinated , as those who are vaccinated and boosted would have considerable protection from serious illness.Fauci warned of the broader dangers on CNN: “Even if the rate of hospitalization is lower with omicron than it is with delta, there is still the danger that you will have a surging of hospitalizations that might stress the health-care system.”
The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with coronavirus infections topped 9,500 on Monday, surpassing the peak reached during last year’s winter wave, Gov.Kathy Hochul (D) said.“We’re not in a good place, I’m going to be really honest with you,” Hochul said at a news conference in Rochester.“This is the winter surge we predicted.”The state — and especially New York City — is once again the epicenter of the pandemic, with the hyper-infectious omicron variant fueling a rapid rise in new cases and a pair of winter holidays providing the virus ample opportunity to spread through indoor gatherings.“There was a lot of human interaction,” Hochul said of Christmas and New Year’s weekends.“And what happens when humans gather? They spread the virus.”Even though omicron infections do not appear as severe, on average, as past variants, Hochul said, New York’s infections — the state is averaging a nation-leading 65,500 new cases per day — are now driving up hospitalizations.The governor said it is “a trend that is troubling.”New York also reported 103 virus deaths, the first time since the spring that the state’s daily fatality number reached triple digits.Since then, however, the wide availability of vaccines has given states a vital and effective tool to combat covid-19.“We have many more defenses this time,” Hochul said.
“The vaccines are so plentiful.”Hochul said she is also seeking further clarification on the state’s virus hospitalization data.The government, beginning Tuesday, will now ask hospitals to distinguish between people who are admitted to facilities because of their covid symptoms and those who happen to test positive while receiving treatment for some other malady, such as injuries sustained in a car accident.The change will provide more insight into how severe this latest wave is, Hochul said, adding that she remains concerned about hospital capacity.“I just want to always be honest with New Yorkers about how bad this is,” she said.
MEXICO CITY — Everyone knew the pandemic would bring death.Edith García Díaz thought it would also bring birth — lots of birth.As a state health official, she worried the crisis would impede access to contraceptives, leading to a rise in pregnancies.Doctors were swamped with covid-19 patients.Couples were hunkering down at home, afraid to go out.Early in the pandemic, Mexico’s population agency warned it could result in 120,000 additional unplanned births — an unwelcome reversal in the long battle to tame the fertility rate.But as the data trickle in, one state after another has reported the opposite tendency.Births in Mexico dropped 11 percent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2020, according to preliminary Health Ministry data.
García Díaz, who is in charge of maternal health for Zacatecas, looked at her state’s annual statistics in November and was startled.There were 5,000 fewer newborns.“I had never seen anything like this,” the doctor said.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Marjorie Taylor Greene gets Facebook suspension for covid-19 misinformation, one day after Twitter ban Return to menu By Eugene Scott 5:18 p.m.Link copied Link
Facebook suspended Rep.Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for one day for spreading misinformation about covid-19, a day after Twitter permanently suspended her personal account for repeatedly violating the company’s policy.Facebook said Greene’s post “goes against our standards on misinformation that can cause physical harm” and barred her from posting or commenting for 24 hours.Greene included the Facebook post in her criticism of Monday’s punishment.Greene recently published a tweet falsely suggesting “extremely high amounts of Covid vaccine deaths.” Included was a chart featuring data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which details self-reported post-vaccine health issues that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns do not imply causation.The congresswoman, who has been repeatedly criticized for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic to her thousands of social media followers, lashed out at the two platforms on Gettr, a conservative social media site.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Apple becomes first company to hit $3 trillion market value Return to menu By Jacob Bogage 4:31 p.m.Link copied Link
Tech giant Apple on Monday became the first publicly traded company to soar to a $3 trillion market valuation, riding a pandemic-era wave that has lifted the fortunes of the biggest tech giants.The company breached the threshold at 1:45 p.m., when shares traded at $182.85.The stock soared even higher before pulling back, ending the session 4.4 percent higher at $182.01 and a market value of $2.986 trillion.The company’s stock has jumped 46 percent since the start of 2021, and more than 200 percent since the early days of the pandemic.On March 20, 2020, Apple sold for $57.31 per share.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1,079 points — 5 percent of its value — on the same day.The market’s rebound since then has been swift, even as the nation continues to grapple with the pandemic and faces head winds from the omicron variant.The three major U.S.indexes posted double-digit gains in 2021, with the S&P 500 surging 26.9 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbing 21.4 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average growing 18.7 percent.
TORONTO — Canada’s most populous province tightened restrictions Monday on private gatherings and businesses, canceled elective surgeries, and moved schools online in a bid to blunt an omicron-fueled surge of coronavirus cases that is taxing the health-care system.“We face a tsunami of new cases in the coming days and weeks,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters.“Virtually everyone in this province will know someone who has been exposed to this virus.
Now, we are bracing for impact.”The measures, which go into effect Wednesday for 21 days, include capacity limits on businesses such as shopping malls and hair salons, as well as for events such as weddings and funerals.Indoor dining at restaurants will be banned, and theaters, indoor gyms, museums and landmarks must close.The province also ordered public and private schools to shift to virtual learning for at least two weeks.The move reverses an announcement made Thursday in which officials said that schools would open for in-person learning later this week.Ontario reported 13,578 new coronavirus cases Monday, but the figure is an undercount.Officials last week limited who can access free tests after a surge in demand overwhelmed testing systems, leaving those residents who were able to snag a testing appointment waiting as long as a week for results.More worrying, Ford said, were rapidly increasing hospitalizations that could leave the province “thousands” of beds short in the coming weeks and high rates of absenteeism among health-care workers infected with the virus.About 1 percent of people infected with the omicron variant will require hospitalization, Ford said, but the high transmissibility of the variant means there could be hundreds of thousands of new cases each day.
Hospitalizations have increased roughly 156 percent in the past week.“The math isn’t on our side,” he said.“One percent of hundreds of thousands is too many new patients for our hospitals to handle.”
Key update Key coronavirus updates from around the world Return to menu By News Services and Staff Reports 3:50 p.m.Link copied Link
Here’s what to know about the top coronavirus stories around the globe from news service reports.
Masks will be required in all state buildings in Maryland under a directive issued Monday by Gov.Larry Hogan (R) as the coronavirus surge continues with hospitals treating a record number of people with covid-19.Anyone who works or visits a state building, including the State House or the Department of Motor Vehicles, will be required to wear a mask.For months, the state’s largest union pushed for a mask mandate during its collective bargaining discussions but Hogan rejected the idea.On Monday, he announced that it would be imposed and that it would take effect immediately.Maryland has 2,746 patients being treated in hospitals for covid-19, the most the state has seen since the start of the pandemic.The seven-day testing positivity rate is at 26.87 percent, which is also a pandemic high.During a television appearance Sunday, Hogan said Maryland could experience the “worst part” of the pandemic in the next four to six weeks.Health-care organizations, including the Maryland State Medical Society and Maryland Hospital Association, have called on the governor to reinstate a statewide indoor mask mandate.
Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said last week that a reinstatement of the mask mandate was not on the table.Hogan is expected to hold a news conference Tuesday to announce additional actions to address the surge.
During a Jan.3 news conference in Miami, Gov.Ron DeSantis (R) said he has been helping take care of his wife during her chemotherapy.(Reuters) Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis (R) is rejecting calls to open state-run coronavirus testing sites and instead said Monday that he’d order more monoclonal-antibody treatment centers to open.Speaking publicly for the first time since Florida’s coronavirus cases began rising sharply in mid-December as the omicron variant surged, DeSantis said the state is dealing “rationally” with the situation by emphasizing treatments and not closing schools or issuing mask and vaccine mandates.“When you look at what’s going on in other states, they’re letting hysteria drive them to doing really damaging things,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale.“We thought that people had learned, but they’re closing schools and doing things that should not be done.”County-run coronavirus testing sites continue to see hours-long waits and miles-long lines of cars.DeSantis said the state’s testing strategy will be based on “getting the best clinical outcomes” and not “people going to multiple times a week to these sites with no symptoms.”Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said the state’s testing guidance, which he did not detail, won’t be designed “to restrict testing” but would “reduce the use of low-value testing.”“If your grandmother gets a test, that’s a much more high-value test, rather than the 8-year-old third-grader that Los Angeles County is sending in weekly to get testing,” Ladapo said.
“We’re going to be working to unwind the testing psychology that our federal leadership has managed, unfortunately, to get most of the country in over the last two years.”The governor faulted Anthony S.Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser on the pandemic, and other officials who encourage mask use, saying masks don’t work.DeSantis was asked about criticism that he was absent last week while cases increased.He said he was working with office staff and also accompanying his wife to chemotherapy treatments.
Casey DeSantis, who announced her breast cancer diagnosis last year, made an appearance with her husband at the Orange Bowl game on New Year’s Eve.
As classes resume and coronavirus cases surge across the nation, teachers and other employees at Los Angeles County schools will be required to wear surgical masks and students will have to mask outdoors in crowded areas.The stricter guidelines , posted Saturday by the Los Angeles County health department, urge students to wear “a well-fitting, non-cloth masks of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.” Booster shots are strongly recommended for all eligible employees and students.The changes came as Los Angeles health officials warned of high rates of virus transmission.The county reported more than 23,500 new cases Saturday and 21,000 on Sunday, approaching 2020’s one-day peak of about 28,000 cases.More than 20 percent of those tested for the virus had positive results.Deaths remain lower than during last winter’s surge, with a seven-day average of 17 last week compared with 89 in the same week a year earlier.But health officials noted that hospitalizations have been rising, reporting about 1,600 inpatients over the weekend.“We hope that by working together to implement essential public health safety measures, we can stay safe, protect those we love, and keep our schools and businesses open,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a news release .Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district, resumes classes next week.
Note: The numbers in this post have been updated..