COVID Omicron News: Cases up 4-fold in US as travel woes continue

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ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, December 31, 2021
COVID Omicron News: Cases up 4-fold in US as travel woes continue
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Ines de la Cuetara has the latest on new COVID-19 cases rage on this New Year's Eve for the third day in a row, with the U.S. reporting record numbers.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New COVID-19 cases rage on this New Year's Eve for the third day in a row, with the U.S. reporting record numbers.

The country is averaging 316,000 new cases a day, up nearly fourfold from a month ago.

Health officials continue to caution against large gatherings this holiday as airlines warn of heavy travel delays.

The CDC is also now warning people to completely avoid going on a cruise, no matter their vaccination status, raising the health notice to the highest level.

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

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

Yonkers school district going virtual

Due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases across Yonkers, officials announced all Yonkers Public Schools will switch to remote learning for the first week of January.

CUNY and SUNY students must be boosted

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that students must be boosted at CUNY and SUNY schools in order to return by 1/15. Students must also present a negative PCR test upon their return. Faculty are also required to be vaccinated.

LIRR union sounds alarm over uncollected COVID-19 test samples

There are plenty of arguments for requiring all workers to be vaccinated, but some entities have instead required testing.

Eyewitness News found MTA boxes are brimming with tests that have yet to be analyzed.

Adams says private-sector vaccine mandate to remain

Mayor-elect Eric Adams laid out his game plan to confront the COVID crisis in the new year, including how he plans to keep schools open as cases continue to surge.

Adams held a COVID news conference Thursday morning, unveiling his plans as he prepares to take office this weekend.

Adams said the plan is to, "Keep our city open. That's the goal. We can't shut down our city again." As for existing mandates regarding vaccines and masks, they will stay in place with a few changes and adjustments.

Woman spends 5 hours in airplane bathroom after testing positive for COVID mid-flight

A woman spent five hours in an airplane bathroom after learning she tested positive for COVID-19 mid-flight.

Marisa Fotieo, a teacher from Chicago, revealed in a Dec. 20 TikTok video that was flying from Newark International Airport to Iceland when her throat started to hurt. She took a self-test and tested positive for coronavirus.

What to do if your flight is canceled as omicron-related crew shortages leave thousands stranded

A rise in cancellations during the busy holiday travel season has left thousands of passengers around the country stranded in airport lounges as they attempt to get back home. Airline representatives said that the recent surge in omicron COVID-19 cases has grounded flight crews, and as a result, they don't have enough people to fly their scheduled flights. While such a predicament is hard to plan for, travel experts say affected passengers still have options to reach their destination, or in the worst-case scenario, ride out their extended stay with as little hassle as possible.

Exposed to COVID at a holiday gathering? What to know about quarantining, testing

So many families gathered this weekend, but COVID-19 didn't hide as Santa Claus was coming to town. The U.S. is now averaging 198,404 new coronavirus cases each day as of Sunday, the day after Christmas, according to new data from Johns Hopkins University. That's 47% higher than a week ago and the highest such number since Jan. 19. Those who were exposed to COVID-19 while attending a holiday gathering or visiting loved ones should get tested five to seven days after the day of exposure, said ABC News' contributor Dr. Darien Sutton. Here's what you need to know.

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