This is an ongoing weekly update of news headlines, new studies, and data related to the coronavirus outbreak. The newest information is at the top. If you have a question or want to discuss this issue in-depth, we have been discussing this issue in our chat system. Covid blog Information is updated once a week.
Last week’s blog post from 12.07.21 can be found here
We have moved older live blog posts to an archive that can be found in the right-side navigation.
Vaccine Related Information:
After snubbing Taiwan, Nicaragua gets a vaccine donation from China.
CDC: Only about half of US nursing home residents have received a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine
The F.D.A. authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds.
Omicron may require fourth vaccine dose sooner than expected, Pfizer says
Scientific Research & Variants:
UK has Omicron Covid patients in hospital, government confirms
Two Common Over-the-Counter Compounds Reduce COVID-19 Virus Replication by 99% in Early Testing
Highly Specific Sigma Receptor Ligands Exhibit Anti-Viral Properties in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Cells
UCLA Breakthrough Points Way to Longer-Lasting COVID Vaccine
Nasal vaccine provides broad-based protection against heterologous respiratory viruses in mice
“Omicron variant was in California weeks ago, water sample suggests”
Your Local Epidemiologist looks at what is known about omicron so far
Omicron cases in Europe are asymptomatic or mild, health authority says
Omicron will become dominant variant in London in next 48 hours, UK health secretary says
Omicron can hit fully vaccinated, Oxford study says, as UK prepares for tidal wave of cases
Reduced neutralisation of SARS-COV-2 Omicron-B.1.1.529 variant by post-immunisation serum
Covid: First UK death recorded with Omicron variant
COVID-19: First Omicron death in UK – as PM warns variant will make up majority of London’s coronavirus cases by Tuesday
Testing indicates that the Omicron variant is surging in Washington State.
Monmouth County Man Is NJ’s 2nd Confirmed Omicron Case – The New Jersey man attended the Anime NYC convention
at the Javits Center and became ill just before Thanksgiving. Here’s the latest:
Mainland China reports first case of Omicron coronavirus variant
Omicron Cases Serious in Denmark and Overall Morbidity Picture Not Pretty Either
Cornell University shuts down Ithaca campus after surge of nearly 500 Covid-19 cases detected
Omicron Covid cases ‘doubling every two to three days’ in UK, says scientist Prof Neil Ferguson says coronavirus
variant likely to be dominant strain in the UK before Christmas
Blood samples of people who received two Pfizer doses showed a 25-fold reduction in antibody levels against Omicron. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/12/08/world/omicron-variant-covid/pfizer-says-blood-samples-showed-a-third-dose-of-its-vaccine-provides-significant-protection-against-omicron
Pfizer’s vaccine chief on Omicron, mix-and-match boosters, and being prepared for the unknown
Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 shot loses power against Omicron variant, but booster restores protection
Early Lab Data Provide Glimpse Into Omicron’s Immune Escape — Small South African study shows steep drop in neutralizing antibodies for Pfizer vaccine https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/96069
Scientists find ‘stealth’ version of Omicron that may be harder to track – Variant lacks feature that allows probable cases to be distinguished among positive PCR tests https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/07/scientists-find-stealth-version-of-omicron-not-identifiable-with-pcr-test-covid-variant
What are the symptoms of the omicron COVID-19 variant?
The Coronavirus Attacks Fat Tissue, Scientists Find The research may help explain why people who are
overweight and obese have been at higher risk of severe illness and death from Covid.
“Is Omicron Ominous? – What we’ve learned from all the new data with this new variant”
An Inside Look at a New York Lab Working With Omicron — NYU virologist:
“What Omicron represents is scary, but Omicron itself is not scary”
Stanford Researchers Looking at Possible Link Between Omicron COVID Variant and HIV – Scientists have speculated
that of all the other unnamed variants, omicron evolved faster and with more mutations, it likely originated in someone
with a compromised immune system, potentially someone with HIV.
“The Omicron variant can likely outcompete Delta — and that could worsen the U.S. Covid-19 epidemic”
Small study shows omicron infects people who have received boosters, but cases were mild
New CDC data shows first-known omicron Covid patient in U.S. had symptoms starting Nov. 15
Most Omicron cases in US have been mild but most were vaccinated, CDC reports
SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) Variant — United States, December 1–8, 2021
Nasal Vaccine May Be the Secret Weapon Against New COVID-19 Variants
Our First Preview of How Vaccines Will Fare Against Omicron The variant will change the risk landscape for the vaccinated. The question is, how much? https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/12/omicron-vaccine-antibodies-neutralization-immunity/620946/
Reinfections Seen in Early U.S. Cases of Omicron — Anthony Fauci, MD, delivers “sobering” and “encouraging” news about the variant https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19vaccine/96146
‘Three shots of Pfizer COVID vaccine 4x less effective against Omicron’ – Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis says country
could recommend boosters as early as three months after second shot
Outbreaks & Restrictions:
U.S. COVID-19 deaths reach 800,000 as Delta ravaged in 2021
‘We’re overwhelmed,’ Minnesota hospital leaders say in full-page ad
California Announces Mandatory Indoor Mask Mandate Despite Vaccination Status – New mandate is set to go into effect
on Wednesday, Dec. 15 and last at least a month
Winter COVID-19 Surge Arrives: What Bay Area Residents Should Do
German hospitals say no need for widespread lockdowns – A German hospital federation has said health facilities
are not currently overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, the UK is warning that the omicron variant
is spreading at a “phenomenal rate.” Follow DW for more.
California is reinstating an indoor mask mandate.
Michigan sets hospitalization record, leads nation in new coronavirus cases per capita
Germany records highest number of daily Covid-19 deaths since February
Johnson triggers plan B of working from home, mask wearing and Covid passes PM announces stronger measures
in England to counter Omicron, amid pressure over No 10 Christmas party
I’m an E.R. Doctor in Michigan, Where Unvaccinated People Are Filling Hospital Beds
Three Northeast states deploy National Guard amid medical capacity crisis due to pandemic
Coronavirus Cases Are Rising Among Children in South African Hospitals The increase, observed in
children’s wards at two major hospitals in South Africa, points to increased community transmission, doctors say. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/08/world/africa/coronavirus-south-africa-children.html
“Omicron Happy Talk in the US v. Toughening Restrictions in UK, Israel”
NJ’s COVID hospitalizations doubled in a month, and demand for booster shots increases
Serious COVID-19 cases in Israel drop below 100 for first time in 4.5 months – After a major outbreak driven by the
Delta strain and amid fears of a potential Omicron outbreak, Health Ministry says figure at lowest point since late July
Coronavirus: Japan’s cases drop as other parts of Asia rebound
Omicron detected in California wastewater
Rapid infection rate of omicron Covid variant is causing concern, as UK braces for 1 million cases
Hospital crowding in Arizona reaches pandemic high
Hospital official: Utah’s current surge of COVID-19 no worse than last year, but lasting longer
South African Covid cases up 255% in a week as Omicron spreads
Los Angeles County experiences post-Thanksgiving case rise, amid fears for winter
Maine sets pandemic record of 2,148 new cases of COVID-19 – Eight additional deaths also were reported Friday.
New York State will require masks in indoor public spaces that do not ask for proof of vaccination.
Javid advised to take ‘stringent’ Covid measures within a week, leak reveals Exclusive: Health officials say urgent action
needed to avoid mass hospitalisations and overwhelming the NHS
Omicron could cause 75,000 deaths in England by end of April, say scientists Peak of 2,400 daily hospital admissions
is most optimistic scenario if England stays in plan B, say advisers
Omicron will soon become dominant strain in Europe: officials
All Other Covid News:
Massachusetts to distribute more than 2 million at-home coronavirus tests
German leaders express fear over radicalized covid deniers after weekend of violence
About 400 investigations launched into fake health passes, French interior minister says
Vaccine holdouts in U.S. military approach 40,000 even as omicron fuels booster calls
Booster shot offers ‘optimal protection’ against omicron, Fauci says
As the pandemic begins its third year, Covid depression settles in.
Older Americans make up three-quarters of the virus death toll in the United States.
Some studies suggest Merck’s Covid pill might pose risks to pregnant women.
A South Korean city will test facial recognition as a way to track the virus.
NBA postpones Bulls games amid team COVID-19 outbreak
Premier League instituting Covid-19 emergency measures after a sharp rise in positive tests
‘I’m a walking miracle’: Aberdeen woman back home after eight-month COVID fight – Jacqueline Baker was so ill with COVID,
she may have been an hour from dying. But she bounced back, now she spreads a message of hope.
Man whose wife won a lawsuit to treat his COVID-19 with ivermectin has died
Sudden death of 6-year-old a month after coronavirus recovery puzzles doctors – Hospital still treating Yosef Naim’s
4 sisters, all suffering from shortness of breath and vomiting; doctors trying to determine COVID-19’s role in child’s death
Supreme Court won’t stop vaccine mandate for New York health care workers
Air Force discharges 27 for refusal to get COVID vaccine
Hospitals Abandon Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement to Ease Staffing Shortages
Pfizer says its Covid pill will protect against severe disease, even from Omicron.
Republicans ready new push to defund, repeal Biden vaccine and testing policies The latest salvo is set to arrive this week,
as GOP lawmakers force another Senate vote to revoke the president’s policy requiring shots or tests at private employers
What to know about molnupiravir, the COVID pill that could be coming to a pharmacy near you
University of Florida researchers pressured to destroy COVID-19 data, told not to criticize DeSantis: report
University of Florida researchers pressured to destroy COVID-19 data, told not to criticize DeSantis
FDA authorizes AstraZeneca antibody drug for coronavirus prevention
COVID patients in Japan recovering in robot-staffed hotels
Which Twin Cities restaurants require proof of vaccination?
Fully vaccinated, boosted Kaiser staff got COVID after out-of-state wedding
Death Payouts Soar Amid COVID
The prime minister of Finland apologizes for clubbing maskless after contact with an infected official.
Long covid is destroying careers, leaving economic distress in its wake
Suffering from debilitating exhaustion and pain for months, patients find themselves on food stamps and Medicaid
“Several Northwest Florida doctors push for controversial treatments of COVID-19”
Canceled practices point to more virus trouble in the N.B.A.
Danish Leader Is Questioned Over ‘Minkgate’ Cull Driven by Covid Fears
The prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, said she did not know the government lacked legal authority to order
the mass slaughter of 17 million minks after infected animals passed the virus to humans.
Anti-vaxx Chronicles: We finally see a COVID-related hospital bill. It’s for over $1.1 million
Poop sleuths hunt for early signs of omicron in sewage
Scientists develop glowing masks to help detect coronavirus
This health department stops ‘all COVID-19 related work’ after Missouri AG threat
Senator Ron Johnson Says Mandates ‘Basically’ Put World’s Unvaccinated ‘Into Internment Camps’
No Extra Resources for Children Orphaned by Covid
Chief Justice Roberts refuses to block the mask mandate for air travel in the U.S.
Medical board official says anti-vaccine group followed, ambushed her in Walnut Creek
Marin Co. businesses threatened with arson over ‘strict’ COVID rules
Disinformation Group Allegedly Staked Out California Med Board President —
Kristina Lawson said members of America’s Frontline Doctors ambushed her in a dark parking garage
Covid-19 patients at this hospital are dying ‘at a rate we’ve never seen die before’ — and it’s taking a toll on health care workers
The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill All pandemic long, scientists brawled over how the virus spreads.
Droplets! No, aerosols! At the heart of the fight was a teensy error with huge consequences.
Vaccine skepticism is healthy. Cynicism is not
“Changing the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is more than just semantics, experts argue”
COVID safety and vaccines for your California child: What to know ahead of the holidays
Vaccination status by age group in California. OFFICIAL CALIFORNIA STATE GOVERNMENT WEBSITE
This health department stops ‘all COVID-19 related work’ after Missouri AG threat
Anti-vaccine doctor fired for trying to treat COVID-19 patients with ivermectin
Orange County CA: “Coronavirus: Unvaccinated residents five times more likely to catch coronavirus –
Case rate is growing, but risk for vaccinated people is lower”
Chris Christie: ‘Undeniable’ that Trump gave me Covid last year
The C.D.C. found 43 Omicron cases, almost all of them mild, in the first week of December.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down a school mask mandate.
A majority of Americans are critical of religious exemptions to Covid vaccines, a survey finds.
Hundreds of people are fired, online learning set to return amid vaccine resistance at nation’s second-largest school district https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/12/10/la-covid-vaccine-mandate/
The US’ Biggest Export This Year: Air
Covid 19 Delta outbreak: ‘Unbelievably selfish’ – expert slams people who paid man to take 10 vaccine shots in one day
The most wonderful time of the year? NYC’s booze-fueled SantaCon returns after one-year hiatus as hundreds
of maskless revelers flood city’s bars despite rising Omicron numbers
‘Science is flawed’: COVID-19, ivermectin, and beyond
Hospital Dumps Doc Who Took COVID Patient Off FDA-Approved Antiviral — John Witcher, MD,
stopped remdesivir in three patients and switched them to ivermectin
“MS hospital fires doctor, anti-vaccine leader for treating COVID patients with ivermectin”
“We all have COVID fatigue. The virus does not.”
“Chris Christie says it’s “undeniable” he got COVID from Trump”
No more lateral flow home test kits available, says NHS England
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