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U.S. Omicron Surge

Omicron is overwhelming hospitals while schools struggle with balancing health and education.

But as Chris Wynn reports, there is hope that the worst of the pandemic may pass in the coming weeks.

Across America, the current COVID 19 surge could peak later this month, but health experts say the next couple of weeks are crucial.

If you look at what’s happening across the East Coast

“Right now, New York City, Washington, D.C., Maryland, probably Florida as well. Already peaked, maybe Delaware and Rhode Island. You’re going to start to see that in the statistics
this week. You’re going to start to see those curves as epidemic curves bend down.”

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows the decline is far from a trend, yet other regions of the country still haven’t reached their peak. Hospitals, in particular, are struggling with the influx of Omicron cases.

“Hospitals are stretched to the brink.”

Nearly a quarter of U.S. hospitals are reporting a critical staffing shortage, according to data from the Health and Human Services Department
that represents the largest share of the entire pandemic.

“We have more COVID patients that we’ve ever had before, but we also have less staff to take care of them.”

Schools are also struggling to keep kids in classrooms in areas where transmission is high.

“If you want to get kids and teachers back in schools, the way to do that is a multi-pronged approach, including flooding our schools with testing.”

Vaccines still aren’t eligible for children five and under, so the CDC director says the best way to keep them safe is to vaccinate all eligible family members around them.

“People who are vaccinated are still protected about 70% against infection, especially if they’re boosted. So the people who are ending up in the hospital, the people who are ending up very sick with Omicron are the ones who are unvaccinated.”

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