COVID cases surge across US, prompting new concerns ahead of holidays – KRQE News 13

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KRQE NEWS 13 – Breaking News, Albuquerque News, New Mexico News, Weather, and Videos
by: Alexandra Limon
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The number of COVID-19 cases across the country is rising ahead of the holidays, prompting new concerns about hospital capacity and the economy.
Meanwhile, an appeals court has reinstated President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees.
The vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees won’t be immediately enforced by the government, but health officials are emphasizing the importance of getting vaccinated to fight the pandemic.
“It is really very unpredictable, very much so, particularly with the element of variants,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
The newest variant now spreading across the U.S. is omicron, a variant initially detected in South Africa and what scientists and doctors say is very contagious.
“It is so different that it has the properties to potentially be evasive of the vaccines and the other measures that we’ve taken,” National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said.
Collins said while more vaccinated people are getting breakthrough cases of omicron, it’s still vital people get vaccinated and boosted when eligible.
“If you’ve had vaccines and a booster you’re very well protected against omicron causing you severe disease,” Collin said.
As litigation continues regarding the vaccine mandates, officials are hoping this latest surge of a very contagious variant will encourage more people to get the necessary shots.
“There’s certainly some change that our hospitals are going to be pretty stressed, they already are of course with Delta of course,” Collin said. “The government is prepared now to send out surge teams as needed.”
Several petitions have been filed asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the vaccine mandate for businesses. So while the latest ruling upheld that mandate for businesses, the legal case isn’t over.
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(The Conversation) – Nothing says Christmas quite like a fruitcake – or, at the very least, a fruitcake joke. A quip attributed to former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson has it that “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”
It’s certainly earned its reputation for longevity.
(NEXSTAR) – An estimated 109 million Americans will travel out of town between Christmas and New Year’s Day this year. According to AAA, that’s 34% more than last year.
Unlike last year, when many destinations had strict COVID-19 protocols in place and the vaccine was not as accessible, more Americans are expected to visit places with warm temperatures and theme-park-heavy destinations.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) Happy Holidays from the KRQE family to yours.

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