Many local communities are facing a shortage of staff members, basic necessities, and different services in various sectors, as the omicron variant continues rising across America.
However, health experts indicated less hospitalization from the variant is an encouraging sign.
COVID strikes America again
In Atlanta, five metro schools districts announced a shutdown over the weekend, noting they would move towards remote learning systems.
This announcement did not come as a shock for many, as six major hospitals in the area reported up to a 200 percent spike in coronavirus cases. Not only this, but many restaurants in the area were also closed during the busiest season of the year.
Covid Surge in U.S. | Hospitalization of children rises.
The U.S. reports, nearly 113 percent rise in covid cases.
Kids have been reported to be the worst affected due to covid.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 3, 2022
With almost 404,743 daily cases reported on Sunday, the United States broke its average record; the rising hospitalizations have packed almost 75 percent of ICU beds across America, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Lately, children are also getting impacted by the coronavirus, as almost 378 children per day were admitted to hospitals in the week ending on December 28.
This broke the previous records of August, when 342 children were hospitalized on average during a single day.
Schools are mandating negative tests for entry
Public schools in Washington DC have mandated negative tests for students and officials to enter schools. Washington DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser told CNN school openings had been delayed by two days to give everyone a time window to get tested.
Bowser asserted that in-person learning is important; therefore, the relevant authorities are making it possible by mandating tests, the results of which people can upload on websites to enter school buildings.
Similarly, in Chicago, the teacher’s union is asking to introduce negative testing mandates for all students; without this, the union is threatening to pause in-person learning. On the other hand, some health officials are questioning the validity of COVID tests.
For instance, Dr. James Philips, Chief of Disaster Medicine at George Washington University Hospital, stated even though antigen testing can catch 80 to 85 percent of positive cases, it is not sensitive enough for schools to start relying on it.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci also expressed his concerns about the shortage of staff in critical departments. According to him, fire departments and police in some major cities are reporting the illness of up to 30 percent of their staff members.
Over 25% of America's positive COVID cases are in NYC? I feel like this story would be framed differently if it were Florida. pic.twitter.com/M9LEpWKm7h
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) December 27, 2021
Cincinnati’s Mayor John Cranley declared an emergency last week, asking the fire department of the city to get adequately staffed after many firefighters went ill.
The mayor noted the provision of basic necessities is important for the city’s administration, and so is keeping people safe in the not-so-ideal circumstances of the coronavirus.
Almost 21 percent of New York Police Department staff was ill on Thursday, which encouraged the department to cancel off days for healthy staff members and switch shits to keep the department functional.