COVID Omicron News: Relief for hospital workers as omicron cases drop across the nation

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- There's a bit of relief for some health care workers nationwide as the U.S. shows signs it's turning a corner on the omicron surge.

Hospital admissions were down by more than 11% in the last week.

New infections also dropped more than 32% over the past two weeks.

However, there were still more than 3.8 million new cases reported last week in the country.

RELATED: What are the symptoms of the COVID omicron variant?

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:



Moderna gains full FDA approval
U.S. health regulators on Monday granted full approval to Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, a shot that's already been given to tens of millions of Americans since its emergency authorization over a year ago. The action by the Food and Drug Administration means the agency has completed the same rigorous, time-consuming review of Moderna's shot as dozens of other long-established vaccines. The decision was bolstered by real-world evidence from the more than 200 million doses administered in the U.S. since the FDA cleared the shot in December 2020. The FDA granted full approval of Pfizer's vaccine last August.

NYC Public Schools isolation rules change
The NYC Department of Education reduced the isolation period for all staff and students in kindergarten and older to just five days, down from 10 days. Students can return on Day 6 as long as they have not had a fever for at least 24 hours and are wearing a "well-fitting" mask, which all students and staff members are already required to do. The isolation period remains at 10 days for kids younger than 5.

Joe Rogan responds to Spotify protest, COVID advisories
Following protests of Spotify kicked off by Neil Young over the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, the music streaming service said that it will add content advisories before podcasts discussing the virus. In a post, Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek laid out more transparent platform rules given the backlash stirred by Young, who on Wednesday had his music removed from Spotify after the tech giant declined to get rid of episodes of "The Joe Rogan Experience," which has been criticized for spreading virus misinformation. Rogan also responded to the fallout, saying in a video on Instagram that he was only seeking to have conversations on his podcast with people who have "differing opinions."

"I'm not trying to promote misinformation, I'm not trying to be controversial," Rogan said. "I've never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people."

Boris Johnson says sorry after report slams lockdown parties
Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized Monday after an inquiry found that Downing Street parties while Britain was in lockdown represented a "serious failure" to observe the standards expected of government or to heed the sacrifices made by millions of people during the pandemic. But Johnson brushed off calls to quit over the "partygate" scandal, promising to reform the way his office is run and insisting that he and his government can be trusted.

"I get it, and I will fix it," he said in Parliament after senior civil servant Sue Gray published interim findings on several gatherings in 2020 and 2021 while the U.K. was under

How many times can I reuse my N95 mask?
How many times can I reuse my N95 mask? It depends, but you should be able to use N95s and KN95s a few times. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says health care workers can wear an N95 mask up to five times. But experts say how often the average person can safely wear one will vary depending on how it's used. Using the same mask to run to the grocery store, for example, is very different than wearing it all day at work.

When am I contagious if infected with omicron?
When am I contagious if infected with omicron? It's not yet clear, but some early data suggests people might become contagious sooner than with earlier variants - possibly within a day after infection. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the few days before and after symptoms develop. But that window of time might happen earlier with omicron, according to some outside experts. That's because omicron appears to cause symptoms faster than previous variants - about three days after infection, on average, according to preliminary studies. Based on previous data, that means people with omicron could start becoming contagious as soon as a day after infection.

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