Flu season resurfaces in US as omicron cancels flights, stokes NYE fears
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While travelers across the United States have been surprised to see their flights canceled this week in the middle of the holiday season, cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus and hospitalizations for the flu are on the rise.
More than 1,000 flights across the country have been canceled because crews were sick with COVID-19 – and recent storm fronts have created further chaos.
FlightAware flight tracking has shown that US airlines have canceled more than 4,000 flights, domestic and international.
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United Airlines said it canceled 115 flights on Monday due to crews with coronavirus and that Delta Air Lines is expected to cut more than 200 flights after cutting more than 370 on Sunday.
Data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shows that the number of screened passengers increased significantly from last year, but was still generally below 2019 levels.
The agency has predicted that the Monday after New Years will be one of the busiest days of the season, and new quarantine guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could help airlines and The travellers.
On Monday, the CDC shortened isolation restrictions for people infected with the virus from 10 to five days. An airlines call for the Biden administration to shorten the quarantine period had been contested by the flight attendants union.
In addition, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr Anthony Fauci, said on Monday that the country should seriously consider a vaccination mandate for domestic travel.
Fauci warned that omicron “will get worse before it gets better,” and although much is still unknown about the variant, infections have jumped around the world.
In Britain, hospital admissions increased by more than 70% at Christmas from the previous week and other European leaders have announced strict measures in an attempt to reduce the spread.
Greece recorded its highest single-day total of new infections on record.
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The iconic New Year’s celebration in Times Square in New York will be scaled back this year, welcoming around 15,000 people compared to 58,000.
In a press release, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said last week that visitors would not be allowed to enter the area until 3:00 p.m. EST.
“New Yorkers have grown dramatically over the past year – we are leading the way in immunization, we have safely reopened, and every day we are working to build a recovery for all of us,” he said. said the mayor in a press release. “There is a lot to celebrate and these added safety measures will keep the fully vaccinated crowd safe and healthy as we ring in the New Year. “
“New York is the best place in the world to celebrate New Years and now it will also be one of the safest against COVID,” said Mayor-elect Eric Adams. “The mayor has made the right decision to take precautionary measures as we learn to live with COVID and combat the omicron variant – and New Yorkers and visitors can now enjoy Times Square and the rest of our city as well. that we are ringing in 2022. “
All of this comes as the 2021 flu season has arrived as planned, with two child deaths reported.
The most intense influenza activity has been in Washington, DC, according to the CDC.
Lynnette Brammer of the CDC told The Associated Press that the type of virus circulating now tends to cause the greatest amount of serious illness, especially in the elderly and the very young.
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Last year’s flu season was the lowest on record, with just one child death in 2020.
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against the flu and against COVID-19. Coronavirus booster shots trigger a big jump in anti-virus antibodies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Local News Local news Flu season resurfaces in US as omicron cancels flights, stokes NYE fears