Despite the rapid progress of the Omicron variant, millions of Americans have begun to travel across the United States for the holidays, reviving fears about an epidemic and provoking a new rush in testing.
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With an average of 171,000 daily cases in seven days, according to the Kovid Act Now site, the wave caused by the omicron, which already dominates most of the new infections, is set to surpass its peak due to the delta variant.
Despite policies and sanctions varying from state to state, President Joe Biden set the tone for Tuesday by urging his compatriots not to “fear” and to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones, thanks to vaccinations and tests. Meetings.
The result: Traditional trips to the other end of the country, often with family, were in full swing on Thursday.
The American Automobile Association estimates that more than 109 million people will leave their neighborhood by air, train or car between December 23 and January 2 – an increase of 34% over the previous year.
For example, the airline company American Airlines planned 5,300 flights on Thursday over the past two days. “It will represent 86% of our flight program for the same period of 2019,” COVID-19 said during the last holiday season, before disrupting most flights.
But the spread of Omicron, including by airline staff, complicates plans for many travelers.
United Airlines told AFP on Friday that it had canceled about 120 flights.
“The high level of Omicron cases across the country this week has had a direct impact on our staff and the people who run our operations,” the company said, adding that it is working to find solutions to the planned holiday for travelers affected.
Rush the test
Passenger movements appear to be increasing the vaccination rate, with 1.3 million being vaccinated in 24 hours, especially for booster doses, according to the latest figures released on Wednesday.
Protects “much better” from severe forms of the disease, White House official Cyrus Shopper tweeted for Kovid-19 data “the best gift booster dose you can give yourself.”
In addition to this thrill towards the vaccine, it is a real rush in the test sites and self-testing kits we have seen in recent days.
In the New York neighborhood of Queens, the federal government has opened three new sites, Gabriel Arevalo explained, to make sure it is negative before the holidays.
“Even though I’m vaccinated, I know you can still carry the virus, so I’m trying to make sure I do not expose myself to other people unnecessarily, especially during this time, on vacation and on the go. Winter, where we are all on top of each other, ”he said.
Overall, American officials feel that the vaccine-test-mask approach is adequate to pass the course without raising new restrictions.
New York City Hall confirmed that a traditional New Year’s party will take place in Times Square on Thursday, despite the reduced capabilities and the mandatory wearing of a mask.
To counter the new wave, Washington is now counting two pills against COVID-19.
The next day, the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) gave the green light to the tablet from Merck, which is intended for high – risk adults.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the US’s leading healthcare organization, on Thursday relaxed their guidelines for isolating patients if the Omicron wave hits the US hospital system anyway. COVID-19 for infected caregivers.
If they are asymptomatic, they will be able to work again after seven days of detention – ten days ago – and after receiving a negative test. “This isolation time can be reduced when there is a staff shortage”, also refer to the CDC.