COVID-19 UPDATE: Omicron Travel Restrictions; Kane Passes 900 Deaths; 19,261 New Illinois Cases Over Thanksgiving Weekend

COVID-19 UPDATE: Omicron Travel Restrictions; Kane Passes 900 Deaths; 19,261 New Illinois Cases Over Thanksgiving Weekend



OVERVIEW: Omicron Travel Restrictions Kick In; CDC Expands Booster Recommendations; Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin Top U.S. List of New-Case Rates

The World Health Organization warned on Monday that the global risk posed by the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus was “very high.” WHO said Omicron is a highly divergent variant with a high number of mutations, including 26-32 in the spike, some of which are concerning and may be associated with immune escape potential and higher transmissibility.

The U.S. has put travel restrictions in place against non-citizens entering the United States from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Click here for a list of travel restrictions by country in the wake of the Omicron outbreaks.

President Joe Biden sought to reassure the nation on Monday about the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus as crucial questions about it remain, telling Americans that the variant is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” and that his administration was working with vaccine manufacturers to modify vaccines and booster shots should that prove necessary, the New York Times and others report.

Experts say the steady surge of infections is expected to only intensify in the weeks to come, after millions of Americans traveled and gathered over the Thanksgiving holiday, ABC News reports. Minnesota and Michigan currently hold the nation’s highest case rate, followed by Wisconsin, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to federal data.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.2 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 777,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

CDC Strengthens Boosters Statement

Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is strengthening its recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are 18 years and older. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine.

“The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant.” CDC Director  Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

“I strongly encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to vaccinate the children and teens in their families as well because strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness. I also want to encourage people to get a COVID-19 test if they are sick. Increased testing will help us identify Omicron quickly.”


KANE COUNTY: 787 New Cases, 3 Additional Deaths; Kane Passes 900 COVID Deaths

Kane County passed another grim milestone today, recording three additional COVID-19 deaths over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and moving the county death toll to more than 900 since the pandemic began.

According to data posted on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, 901 Kane County residents have so far died from COVID-19.

The IDPH shows an additional 787 confirmed cases since Wednesday, Nov. 24, bringing Kane County’s total to 73,338 confirmed cases.

Kane County’s seven-day test positivity rate took another jump up over the weekend, rising to over 6% for the first time in many weeks. The seven-day average posted today is 6.2%; On Wednesday, it was 5.1%.

There have been no reported cases of the Omicron variant in Kane County as of today.


STATE OF ILLINOIS: 19,261 New Cases, 78 Deaths Since Wednesday; Region 8 Hospitalizations Continue to Rise

The state of Illinois recorded 19,261 new COVID-19 cases and 78 deaths over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to data posted today by the IDPH.

To date, there have been 1,804,161 confirmed cases and 26,391 deaths statewide.

In Kane-DuPage Region 8, ICU bed capacity got a little better but the total number of COVID-19 patients continued its steady rise.

As of today, 25% of the ICU beds in Kane and DuPage counties were available. The seven-day rolling number of COVID-19 patients went up to 182. It was 167 as of Wednesday.


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