COVID Omicron News: CDC changes timing of 2nd dose for people ages 12-plus

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The CDC has new guidance on COVID-19 vaccines, advising Americans who have only received one dose so far to space out their shots.

The CDC now recommends that most people over the age of 12 should wait up to eight weeks before receiving their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

That's instead of three to four weeks.

New data shows a longer gap in time may boost antibodies and decrease the small potential risk of heart inflammation in boys and men.

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

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



Elective surgeries can resume statewide across New York
Elective surgeries can resume statewide as the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus drops, New York Gov. Hochul announced.

She said the state has about 2,200 hospitalized for coronavirus, down from a peak of 12,000. The state has not seen an increase in cases since lifting the indoor mask or vaccination requirement, something Hochul said she has been "monitoring very closely."

The future of requiring mask wearing in schools, the next mandate that could be lifted, will be evaluated early next month. Hochul said the timeline for that decision remains the same.

2022 TCS New York City Marathon to return at full capacity
New York Road Runners announced that the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon, taking place on November 6, will return at full capacity with 50,000 runners. The world's largest marathon is one of the city's most anticipated and iconic annual sporting events, attracting runners and spectators of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities from around the world.

New lawsuit challenges end of vaccine mandate exemption
After losing their case in federal court, opponents of Connecticut's elimination of a religious exemption from childhood immunization requirements have filed a new challenge in state court seeking to restore the exception. The lawsuit was filed in Hartford by the groups We The Patriots USA and CT Freedom Alliance, as well as three parents of schoolchildren, against state and local education officials. They say ending the religious exemption for childhood immunization requirements for schools, colleges and day care centers last year violates state freedom of religion rights. State lawmakers cited concerns about a growing number of parents claiming the exemption and the health of schoolchildren.

Maternal mortality rates increased during 1st year of pandemic: CDC report
Maternal mortality rates in the U.S. rose during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial disparities that existed before the pandemic were perpetuated, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report looked at data from the CDC's National Centers for Health Statistics and compared 2020 rates to rates in 2018 and 2019.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams could ease COVID restrictions soon
New York City's mayor says an easing of COVID restrictions could come soon, but it's not entirely clear what that would look like for the city.

It's not exactly clear how the mayor intends to ease COVID rules, but he says things are heading in the right direction. When asked if he's ready to phase out masks soon, Mayor Adams had this to say:

"Yes, and I can't wait to get it done. I take my hat off to New Yorkers. Through masks, vaccines, through social distancing. We were hit with the uncertainty, fear of COVID. I'm really proud of how we responded as New Yorkers," Adams said.

The mayor went on to say he'll have more details in the next few weeks.

NJ updates post-mask mandate COVID-19 guidance for schools
With New Jersey's school mask mandate set to expire on March 7, the state Department of Health has issued updated public health recommendations for K-12 settings and child care programs. School districts and school boards as well as child care centers should consult with their local health department and school nurses in determining whether a universal masking policy is appropriate for their schools and child care centers. Many factors should be considered when making decisions on masking, including a school or child care center's ability to maintain physical distancing, screen students for COVID, perform contact tracing, exclude students and staff with COVID-19 or who have been exposed, and maintain adequate ventilation.

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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Omicron variant symptoms: what to know even if you are vaccinated
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