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A holiday update on the omicron variant

As the omicron variant fuels a new wave of COVID-19 infections, President Biden announced plans that will expand testing sites across the country, distribute millions of free at-home tests and boost federal resources to hospitals in need.
As the omicron variant fuels a new wave of COVID-19 infections, President Biden announced plans that will expand testing sites across the country, distribute millions of free at-home tests and boost federal resources to hospitals in need.

The holiday season is underway, just as the nation grapples with an alarming surge of COVID-19 cases. 

In New York state, reports of new cases shot up 80 percent in two weeks. Washington, D.C. is in the same boat. More than three times as many infections have been reported each day since the start of December. 

Federal officials say these new cases are being driven by the omicron variant, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say accounted for 73 percent of new infections last week. Omicron was first reported in South Africa less than a month ago. 

How are Americans planning holiday gatherings at this point in the pandemic? And what is the outlook for the new year?

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5


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