COVID-19 UPDATE: Concerns Mount Over Omicron Variant; Midwest Tops Latest Delta Surge

COVID-19 UPDATE: Concerns Mount Over Omicron Variant; Midwest Tops Latest Delta Surge



OVERVIEW: Governments Scrambling to Protect Citizens From Omicron Variant; Travel Bans Begin; Moderna Working on Omicron Vaccine

As concerns mount over the newly identified coronavirus variant Omicron, governments around the world are scrambling to protect their citizens from a potential outbreak, CNN reports. The new mutation, which is potentially more transmissible, was first discovered in South Africa and has since been detected in Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hong Kong.

At least 13 people who got tested at Amsterdam Schiphol airport after traveling from South Africa on Friday have tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant, Dutch health authorities said on Sunday.

Israel became the latest country on Saturday to restrict international travel in an effort to stem the spread of the new COVID-19 variant omicron, Fox News reports.

Moderna said it might release an updated COVID-19 vaccine to combat the new Omicron variant by early 2022, Business Insider reports.

CDC Statement on Omicron Variant

On  Nov. 26, 2021, the World Health Organization classified a new variant, B.1.1.529,  as a Variant of Concern and  has  named  it  Omicron.

No cases of this variant have been identified in the U.S. to date. CDC is following the details of this new variant, first reported to the WHO  by South Africa.

We are grateful to the South African government and its scientists who have openly communicated with the global scientific community and continue to share information  about this variant  with the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC.  We are working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more about this variant, as we continue to monitor its path.

CDC is continuously monitoring variants and the U.S. variant surveillance system has reliably detected new variants in this country. We expect Omicron to be identified quickly, if it emerges in the U.S.

We know what it takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. CDC recommends people follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, washing your hands frequently, and physically distancing from others.

CDC also recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting  fully vaccinated. CDC encourages a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible.

Travelers to the U.S. should continue to follow CDC recommendations for traveling.

CDC will provide updates as more information becomes available.



OVERVIEW: Midwest Tops Latest COVID Surge; Travelers to U.S. Will Have To Be Vaccinated; More Than 5.1 Million Deaths Worldwide

(CREDIT: New York Times)

As millions of people across the U.S. prepare to gather for Thanksgiving, some hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages, USA Today reports.

After a steady decline since mid-September, coronavirus cases are once again rising in most of the United States. New cases have increased by 25 percent nationally in the past two weeks. In 14 states, cases have climbed by 40 percent or more, the New York Times reports.

President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on Jan. 22, Fox News reports.

The Internal Revenue Service released an advance copy of a set of proposed regulations that can help taxpayers, employers and insurers navigate the complex tax rules surrounding COVID-19 testing and health insurance coverage, Accounting Today reports.

Germany is set to decide on tougher COVID-19 restrictions and could even opt for a full lockdown amid record daily infections and mounting pressure on hospitals, CNBC reports.

Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 47.9 million COVID-19 cases and 773,900 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have been more than 259 million cases and more than 5.1 million deaths.

About 70% of people in the U.S. have received at least one vaccine shot, and about 59% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Among U.S. adults, 82% have received at least one shot, and about 71% are fully vaccinated. (SOURCE: USA Today Coronavirus Watch)


KANE COUNTY: 207 New Cases, 0 Additional Deaths; Test Positive Now Over 5%

Kane County reported 207 new cases today, as seven-day test positivity rate climbed over 5% for the first time in months.

According to data posted by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Kane County has recorded 72,551 positive cases since the pandemic began.

There were no additional deaths reported today. There have been just two Kane County deaths recorded since Nov. 15. The total to date stands at 898 Kane County residents who have died from the respiratory disease.

Kane County’s seven-day rolling average of test positivity is at 5.1%. IDPH does not report COVID-19 data over the Thanksgiving weekend, so the next figures will be posted in Kane County Connects on Monday, Nov. 29.


STATE OF ILLINOIS: 21,034 New Cases, 87 Deaths Since Friday; No Data Over Thanksgiving Weekend

The Illinois Department of Public Health  today reported 21,034 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 87 additional deaths since reporting last Nov. 19, 2021.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,784,900 cases, including 26,313 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.  The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Since reporting on Friday, November 19, 2021, laboratories have reported 632,533 specimens for a total of 38,528,321.

As of last night, 1,982 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 384 patients were in the ICU and 150 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Nov.17-23, 2021 is 3.3%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Nov. 17-23, 2021 is 4.1%.

A total of 17,031,036 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 64,199 doses. Since reporting on Friday, Nov.19, 2021, 311,308 doses were reported administered in Illinois.

Of Illinois’ total population, approximately 67% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and almost 61% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All data are provisional and will change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at

Data on the IDPH website will not be updated over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but will resume on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.

Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to


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