“Omicrons are really everywhere,” Dr. Megan Rainey, a professor of emergency medication at Brown University’s School of Public Health, instructed CNN Friday night time. “I’m so worried about the next month or so that our economy is going to shut down, not because of the policies of the federal government or state governments, but because so many of us are sick.”
In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is affected by staffing points and introduced three subway strains – the B, Z and W – that serve varied components of the borough have been suspended.
Healthcare providers – decimated after a number of virus surges and now skinny once more as a result of growing variety of Covid-19 sufferers – are already feeling the affect. The University of Maryland Capital Region Health this week joined a rising listing of medical facilities within the state to activate emergency protocols following a pointy improve in instances of employees shortages and overwhelming emergency departments.
“The current demand for care is draining our available resources, including staff,” UM Capital Region Health mentioned in a press release Friday.
In Ohio, Governor Mike Devin introduced the deployment of about 1,250 National Guard members on Wednesday as hospitals grapple with staffing shortages.
“Get ready. We have to remember, in the next few weeks, there are going to be an unprecedented number of social disruptions,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor University’s National School of Tropical Medicine, instructed CNN.
They additionally included flight disruptions, he mentioned, as a result of absence of TSA brokers and air crew.
Virus earlier guidelines are ‘out the window’
CNN medical analyst Dr Jonathan Renner instructed CNN on Friday that the virus is now “extraordinarily contagious” and that earlier mitigation measures that helped now will not be useful.
“At the beginning of this pandemic… we were all taught, if you are within six feet of someone and you are in contact with them for more than 15 minutes, you have a significant risk. , Rainer said. “It’s a highly-contagious virus.”
Now, even a quick, momentary encounter can lead to infection, Rainer said, if someone’s mask is loose, or someone quickly pulls their mask down, or someone enters an elevator. in which someone else has a cough.
“That’s how you can contract this virus,” Rainer said.
The transmissibility of the variant helps explain the staggering number of infections reported globally, including in the US. In the past week, several states have reported new cases and hospitalizations, breaking previous records.
“Our hospitals are almost the same number as they were on the worst days of last winter,” he said. “The problem is we don’t see any signs of defeat right now.”
Other states, including Arkansas, Maryland and New York, also posted new records for case numbers.
And the sharp increase in infections — especially in children — could soon lead to an increase in hospital admissions, says infectious disease specialist Dr. Jean Marazzo said.
“The explosive increase in cases is actually fueling the relatively small proportion of children who are experiencing these dire consequences,” he told CNN’s Amara Walker on Friday. “But you put together a large number of cases, plus a small number of affected, plus the proportion of unvaccinated, and I’m really worried that we’re going to have a tidal wave of admissions, especially For the kids in the coming weeks.”
anxiety about returning to school
With the virus spreading, some staff and experts are expressing concerns about what school reopening could mean.
“There will be pediatric hospitalization,” Hotez said. “And what’s going to be the other hard piece in the next weeks is keeping schools open, because of this high transmission – especially if you start seeing absences from school teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers.”
The Massachusetts Teachers Association, New England’s largest public sector association, this week urged the state education commissioner to keep schools closed on Monday, except for staff COVID-19 tests.
“Using Monday as a day to test and analyze data will allow our school districts to make prudent decisions about staffing needs so they can continue to learn individually for students if it’s safe.” Or a district may develop a contingency plan if it deems necessary,” President Mary Najimi, the affiliation’s president, mentioned in a press release.
The state’s government workplace for training mentioned on Friday that faculties would stay open on Monday regardless of a request from the lecturers’ union.
“The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education labored onerous this week to make fast checks accessible at dwelling for all public college lecturers and employees in mild of the testing shortages being skilled nationwide. Massachusetts is one in all solely a handful of states. One that’s supplying quick is “no need for teachers to return to work, or for schools to reopen after the holidays,” Colleen Quinn, a spokeswoman for the Office, mentioned in a press release.
“It is disappointing,” the assertion mentioned, “that once again the MTA is trying to find a way to close schools, which we know is to the extreme detriment of our children.”
Atlanta Public Schools (APS) introduced that every one college district districts will function for all college students and employees by means of Friday, January 7, in response to a press release Saturday.
Citing the rising Covid-19 instances, the APS mentioned the district has chosen to postpone in-person studying until Monday, January 10. The transfer will permit college students and employees to be examined and, if needed, remoted and quarantined, in response to the CDC and the Department of Health. Guidelines as per APS.
All APS employees members are required to report at their workplaces on Monday for the COVID-19 check, the assertion mentioned.
Neighboring Fulton County Schools and DeKalb County Schools additionally introduced Saturday that they’re beginning on-line subsequent week as college students return to courses after the vacation, in response to verified tweets from each districts.
Fulton and DeKalb additionally intention to return to instruction in individual on January 10.
Meanwhile, a rising variety of faculties and universities throughout the nation are shifting the beginning of the spring semester of 2022 because of elevated instances.
“I realize that students love being individual, and so do I,” college president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. mentioned in a press release. “But it is important that we do this in a safe way. Starting the semester remotely and de-densifying campuses in the coming weeks may be one solution to slowing the spread of the virus.”
Correction: A earlier model of this text incorrectly reported the variety of information damaged this week within the seven-day common of latest each day Covid-19 instances. The most up-to-date common determine has additionally been up to date to mirror the newest stats from JHU.
CNN’s Claudia Dominguez, Kelly Westhoff, Virginia Langmead, Elizabeth Stuart, Laura Studley and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.