Rapid tests are happening relatively quickly due to the rise of COVID-19 cases. Plenty of restaurants are thinking that proof of vaccinations for all employees and patrons. These rules would take place on January 3rd.
- Cheryl Bettigole, Philadelphia Health Commissioner, has been urging residents to stop family gatherings over the holidays.
- The city is requiring patrons and employees to show proof Jan. 3. Here’s what you need to know about the mandate, which includes the Wells Fargo Center.
- Philadelphia residents can receive free at-home COVID-19 test kits at nine vaccination events this week across the city. But those seeking the test kits were forced to wait in long lines on Monday.
- COVID-19 cases are surging in New Jersey and Delaware, while hospitalizations are up across the region.
Omicron now dominant variant in U.S., federal health officials say. Rapid necessary
Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers showed nearly a six-fold increase in omicron’s share of infections in only one week.
In much of the country, omicron’s prevalence is even higher. It’s responsible for an estimated 90% of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest and the Pacific Northwest.
Since the end of June, the delta variant has been the main version causing U.S. infections. As recently as the end of November, more than 99.5% of coronaviruses were delta, according to CDC data.
Scientists in Africa first sounded the alarm about omicron less than a month ago and on Nov. 26 the World Health Organization designated it as a “variant of concern.” The mutant has since shown up in about 90 countries.
Much about the omicron variant remains unknown, including whether it causes more or less severe illness. Early studies suggest the vaccinated will need a booster shot for the best chance at preventing omicron infection but even without the extra dose, vaccination still should offer strong protection against severe illness and death.