By Marsha Mullings, MPH
51 million cases, 810,000 deaths
3.7 million cases, 62,220 deaths
*New coronavirus cases are rising sharply across the US. The daily average number of new cases is now 130,000.
*Cases are rising steeply in the Northeast. Connecticut and Maine are experiencing an explosive uptick in new cases.
*Florida is also experiencing a steep rise in the number of reported new cases. The daily average is now 5,000 new infections per day, up from 1,500 over the last 14 days.
*The Omicron variant is circulating in South Florida. Miami-Dade has reported the presence of Omicron in wastewater, which suggests that the variant is circulating widely in the county. Broward does not test wastewater for coronavirus, but it is highly probable that the variant is circulating widely in Broward County.
Omicron Variant Reported in Most US States
The Omicron variant has now spread to 43 states in the US. It is believed to be partially resistant to currently available vaccines. Scientists are working to assess the effectiveness of current vaccines against this new variant.
Omicron is prompting new lockdown in some parts of the US. Many sporting events and Broadway shows have been cancelled due to the presence of Omicron.
The global response to the Omicron variant continues to evolve. Many nations have instituted new travel restrictions. The US requires that all persons entering the US from a foreign country present a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their travel date, regardless of their vaccination status.
The emergence of Omicron and other coronavirus variants highlights the seriousness of COVID-19 as a continued health crisis. Vigilance is critical to reducing the chance of acquiring an infection. Practice good COVID-19 control strategies:
*Observe social distancing guidelines (6 feet or more of separation from others).
*Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands frequently with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizers).
*Wear a mask when out in public if you are unvaccinated.
For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention, visit www.FloridaHealth.org; nyt.com; www.coronavirus.jhu.edu; www.cdc.gov;