COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is encouraging everyone eligible to get their COVID booster shot after getting his own.
The governor and his family received their boosters over the weekend at Monmouth Medical Center. They had just come back from a three-night thanksgiving trip to Orlando.
He called the process "easy peasy."
More than 1.2 million people in New Jersey have gotten their booster shots.
All vaccinated adults should get COVID-19 booster shot because of omicron variant, CDC says
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened recommendations for booster doses of coronavirus vaccine Monday, saying all adults should get boosted six months after the second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech's or Moderna's vaccine or two months after the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
It's a slight but significant tweak to the wording of guidance issued earlier this month when the CDC endorsed an expanded emergency use authorization for boosters from the US Food and Drug Administration.
New Jersey's positivity rate spikes
Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey's positivity rate spiked up to 9.23%, which he attributed to more testing over the Thanksgiving holiday.
"The positivity rate which has been running weekdays 4% or 5%, spiked up on Thanksgiving, the assumption I would have is you are not getting tested on Thanksgiving if you are not more than likely having symptoms," Murphy said. "The big test is over the next couple weeks to see if we will see the anticipated spike coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, Hanukkah or the holidays to come."
US health officials work to answer 3 key questions about the new omicron variant
Americans face at least two weeks of uncertainty before major questions may get answered about the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Health experts urge the public to be cautious and patient as scientists try to find out if omicron -- deemed a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization -- is more transmissible and dangerous than other forms of the novel coronavirus and whether existing vaccines work against it.
No omicron cases so far in NYC, mayor says
So far there have been no cases of the COVID omicron variant identified in New York City, but "it is very likely there will be," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. City health officials remain in close contact with the CDC, the mayor said, and vaccinations will remain a key part of the city's strategy moving forward. Mayor-elect Eric Adams said his administration will be "on the same playbook" requiring vaccinations. "We must get vaccinated in a real way," he said. In addition, the city's health department is recommending masks now be worn at all times in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
New vaccine mandate for childcare, early intervention workers
New York City has announced a new vaccine mandate for employees of its childcare and early intervention programs. These workers have until December 20 to get vaccinated, Mayor de Blasio said Monday. The mandate impacts 90,000 childcare program employees and 12,000 who work for early intervention programs.
Vaccine makers prepare for omicron variant
Pfizer and BioNTech say if a variant that evades the vaccine emerges, they would be ready to produce a tailor-made shot against that new variant within about 100 days. The companies released a statement to ABC News in response to growing concerns about the omicron variant. Meanwhile, Moderna says they've mobilized hundreds of employees starting on Thanksgiving Day and expect to know the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection against the new variant "in the next couple of weeks." Johnson & Johnson also announced on Monday that they were also evaluating its vaccine against the variant. Any newly developed vaccines would be subject to regulatory approval.
Canada confirms first 2 cases of omicron variant in Ontario
Canadian officials confirmed Sunday that two cases of the omicron variant has been found in Ontario. "Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which were reported in individuals with recent travel from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation," Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health said in a statement.
Hochul mandates booster doses to all NY nursing homes
On Sunday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul mandated that all nursing homes and adult care facilities make booster doses available to all of their residents.
Fauci says omicron variant will 'inevitably' arrive in US
While the new omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has not yet been detected in the United States, it will "inevitably" arrive, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday. "We all know when you have a virus that has already gone to multiple countries, inevitably it will be here," Fauci told ABC's "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos. "The question is, will we be prepared for it?" Fauci's comments came one day before the United States plans to impose a travel ban on most travelers from eight southern African countries.
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