COVID Omicron News: Hospitalizations at all-time pandemic high of 141,000

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
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Reena Roy has the latest on the coronavirus in the US.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the U.S. are at their highest level at any point in the pandemic, with 141,000 Americans currently admitted.

Officials said more than 95% of those people are unvaccinated, and pediatric cases continue to surge.

Last week, 580,000 children tested positive.

That's three-times higher than the number just two weeks before.

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

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

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney tests positive

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday.

"This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19," he said. "While I am experiencing minor cold-like symptoms, I'm grateful to be fully vaccinated and boosted, which is protecting me from more severe illness. I am following the guidance of the Attending Physician and will isolate while recovering. During that time I will continue to work remotely on behalf of the Hudson Valley. My sincere thanks to all the frontline health care workers who have been working throughout the pandemic to keep us safe. Please go get your vaccine and booster if you have not yet. It is the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our communities."

COVID cases in NYC area 'going downward,' Hochul says

For the first time in weeks, COVID-19 numbers in New York are trending downward -- a signal that the spike fueled by the omicron variant may be starting to wane.

"We might be cresting over that peak," Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Cases are slowing down, rate of increase is slowing down, but they are still high. We are not at the end, but I wanted to say this is, to me, a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of hope at a time we desperately need that."

Still, there were 48,686 new cases reported Monday, along with 160 deaths.

Paterson opens 12 COVID testing sites at schools

Twelve COVID testing sites opened in New Jersey Tuesday for students and staff at Paterson Public Schools. School officials want everyone to know their status, so they're not COVID positive when in-person learning resumes in a week. The testing sites will be open for several hours each day through Saturday.

Police: Nurse in Italy caught faking shots, ditching vaccine

Police in Italy have arrested a nurse on charges he faked giving coronavirus vaccinations to at least 45 people so they could get a health pass without actually getting the shot. The nurse ditched the vaccines in a bin and even put bandages on his "patients" so the scam would not be detected. Police in Ancona, on Italy's eastern coast, also placed four alleged accomplices under house arrest, accusing them of finding anti-vaccine customers who were willing to pay for a health pass rather than get the shots. Forty-five people who allegedly received the fabricated passes are under investigation.

Stay home or work sick? Omicron poses a conundrum for workers without paid sick days

As the raging omicron variant of COVID-19 infects workers across the nation, millions of those whose jobs don't provide paid sick days are having to choose between their health and their paycheck. While many companies instituted more robust sick leave policies at the beginning of the pandemic, some of those have since been scaled back with the rollout of the vaccines, even though omicron has managed to evade the shots. Meanwhile, the current labor shortage is adding to the pressure of workers having to decide whether to show up to their job sick if they can't afford to stay home.

"It's a vicious cycle," said Daniel Schneider, professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. "As staffing gets depleted because people are out sick, that means that those that are on the job have more to do and are even more reluctant to call in sick when they in turn get sick."

Federal officials issue warnings about fake COVID-19 testing kits

COVID-19 cases continue to rise dramatically, leading to brutally long lines at testing sites and empty shelves at stores where at-home rapid test kits were once in stock. Now, an additional problem has emerged: The Federal Trade Commission is warning about fraudulent testing kits being sold online to desperate customers.

Broadway extends COVID policies, will require vaccination for children under 12

The Broadway League announced that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theatres in New York City are extending mask and vaccine requirements through April 30, 2022, along with the Buy With Confidence program that allows for flexible exchanges and refunds. The theatres will also require full vaccinations for children ages 5 -11 years old for all performances beginning January 29, 2022, in accordance with New York City's Key to NYC Guidelines. CLICK HERE for more detailed information.

"We're proud to continue setting the gold standard of COVID health protocols in all our Broadway theatres in New York," Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said. "We're equally proud to assure our ticket buyers' purchases are secure with our flexible Buy With Confidence refund and exchange policies. Our theatres and world class shows are open for business, ready to welcome and enrapture our audiences, as we've done every day for the past five months. Come join us."

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