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US bracing for post-Christmas Omicron surge

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, wears a face mask during the White House COVID-19 Response Team’s regular call with the National Governors Association in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus, Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, in Washington. Fauci says the U.S. should consider a vaccination mandate for domestic air travel as coronavirus infections surge. To date the Biden administration has balked at the idea, anticipating legal entanglements. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Covid-19 numbers keep soaring as travelers scatter back across the country after Christmas and Americans prepare for another holiday weekend.

The US is now averaging more than 198,000 new Covid-19 cases each day, according to Sunday data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s 47% higher than a week ago and the highest such number since January 19.

“I think we’re going to see half a million cases a day — easy — sometime over the next week to 10 days,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner told CNN on Sunday.

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About 71,000 Americans were hospitalized with Covid-19 as of Sunday, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

With the highly contagious Omicron variant, “We’re certainly going to continue to see a surge (in cases) for a while,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Monday.

Looking ahead to New Year’s Eve on Friday, small gatherings of fully vaccinated people will be safe, Fauci said. But he advised people to avoid large parties where they don’t know the vaccination status of all guests.

“When you are talking about a New Year’s Eve party where you have 30, 40, 50 people celebrating, you do not know the status of the vaccination, I would recommend strongly: Stay away from that this year,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“There will be other years to do that. But not this year.”

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Read the full story here:

New York's latest vaccine mandate begins Monday as Omicron spreads



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