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Americans aren’t required to change their New Year’s Eve plans but they should steer clear of large gatherings to lower the risk of contracting with the rapidly-growing Omicron variant, Anthony Fauci, M.D. the chief White House medical adviser, told reporters on Wednesday.
Fauci stated that most small family gatherings are acceptable.
“If you’re in a family setting with parents, children, grandparents, and family members, we believe that you should keep your plans,” Fauci stated at a White House news briefing.
“If you plan to attend a 40 or 50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the bells and whistles and everyone kissing and hugging and wish each other a happy New Year I would strongly suggest that this year, we don’t do that.”
A number of cities have cancelled their New Year’s Eve celebrations, including Los Angeles, London, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo, CNBC reported. New York City is not cancelling the event, but it is limiting attendance to 15,000 instead of 58,000 for the usual crowd.
In the same news briefing on Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., said the Omicron variant has increased the average daily for seven days of cases to around 240,400 per person, 60 percent more than the previous week.
She said that Omicron is the reason for the rapid increase in cases across the nation. “In a few short weeks, Omicron has rapidly increased across the country, and we believe, will continue to circulate in the coming weeks.”
She said that hospitalizations and deaths are “comparatively low”.
The average hospitalization rate for seven days is 9,000 per day, an increase of 14% over the previous week.
“This could be due to the fact that hospitalizations typically delay cases by approximately two weeks but may be due to earlier indications we’ve observed from other countries like South Africa and United Kingdom of milder illness from Omicron, especially among those who have been vaccinated and boosted,” she said.
The average daily death rate for seven days was 1,100 per day. This is a decrease of around 7% from the previous week.
The White House. “Press Briefing” by White House COVID-19 Response team and Public Health Officials
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