• Omicron subvariant's spread stalls in US: 6 updates

    Early research from the U.K. offers new insights into the omicron subvariant's spread relative to the original strain.
  • US COVID-19 deaths down 5.9% this week: 9 CDC findings

    The nation's seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths all fell this week, according to the CDC's COVID data tracker weekly review published Feb. 11.
  • US sees sporadic flu activity — 4 states reporting the highest levels

    Sporadic flu activity continues across the U.S., with four states reporting moderate levels, according to the CDC's FluView report published Feb. 11.
  • Prior infection 56% effective at preventing omicron, researchers estimate

    A previous COVID-19 infection may offer less protection against future symptomatic infections from omicron compared to other variants, according to research published Feb. 9 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
  • 2,600 daily COVID-19 deaths; 3 states where deaths are rising fastest

    Nationwide, average COVID-19 deaths are beginning to plateau around 2,600 per day — still the highest level since February 2021, according to data tracked by NBC News.
  • Life expectancy by state: CDC

    The life expectancy at birth in Hawaii is 80.9 years, the longest in the U.S., according to a Feb. 10 report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. 
  • Let's avoid extremes in the next phase of the pandemic: Viewpoint

    Several states have begun lifting mask mandates as the omicron surge recedes. Some regard this as proof widespread masking was never needed. On the other end are those who see no endpoint to restrictions, viewing masks as a symbol of their belief in science. Both extremes should be avoided moving forward, according to Leana Wen, MD, Baltimore's former health commissioner. 
  • US approaches end of 'full-blown' pandemic, Fauci says

    The U.S. may see an end to all pandemic restrictions, including mandatory mask-wearing, in the coming months, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Financial Times Feb. 8. 
  • Standardizing ICU COVID-19 care mitigates disparities, Cleveland Clinic study finds

    During the first three waves of the pandemic, there were no significant differences in clinical outcomes between racial or ethnic groups hospitalized for COVID-19 at Cleveland Clinic intensive care units, researchers found. 
  • Maryland governor launches $2M COVID-19 booster lottery 

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan launched Feb. 8 a COVID-19 booster action plan, including a VaxCash 2.0 promotion awarding $2 million in cash prizes to a total of 12 residents who have been vaccinated and received their booster shots in the state.. 
  • HHS giving community groups $66.5M to combat vaccine hesitancy

    HHS is using $66.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 vaccination outreach efforts in 38 states and the District of Columbia. 
  • This pandemic effect has been 'devastating' for youth, US surgeon general says

    The pandemic has had a "devastating" effect on the mental health of young people, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, told the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 8, as reported by ABC News.
  • Omicron found in New York deer as experts voice concern about animal reservoirs

    The omicron variant has been detected in white-tailed deer on New York's Staten Island, underscoring an urgent need to monitor the virus's spread among this animal population and better understand its potential risks for humans, according to research published Feb. 7 in preprint server BioRxiv.
  • To mask or not mask? Omicron's decline reinvigorates debate

    Several states are easing their masking rules in schools and public places as COVID-19 infections slow while the CDC maintains its guidance, with agency chief Rochelle Walensky, MD, noting "now is not the moment" for changes.
  • World surpasses 400 million COVID-19 cases 1 month after hitting 300 million

    The worldwide COVID-19 case count surpassed 400 million on Feb. 8, just a month after hitting 300 million, according to data cited by The New York Times.
  • 6 states rolling back indoor mask mandates

    Six states that had imposed statewide mask mandates earlier in the pandemic are easing the rules as COVID-19 cases fall nationally, The New York Times reported Feb. 7.
  • Flu vaccination trends in US: 4 stats to know

    The nation's flu vaccination rate has increased slightly over the past two seasons, though this growth has been slower than in past years, likely due to pandemic disruptions, a Feb. 7 report from ValuePenguin found.
  • CDC plans to trim COVID-19 booster dose interval for immunocompromised

    The CDC plans to update its COVID-19 vaccine guidance for immunocompromised people, recommending that they receive a booster dose three months after completing their initial series, down from the current five-month interval, The Washington Post reported Feb. 4. 
  • Utah pauses use of COVID-19 rapid tests at state sites 

    The Utah Department of Public Healthis delaying the use of COVID-19 rapid tests at state-run testing facilities over concerns of false negative results, Fox affiliate Fox 13 Salt Lake City reported Feb. 6.
  • Omicron-specific booster may be unnecessary, early research suggests

    A version of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine tailored to target the omicron variant generated similar levels of immunity in monkeys as the current booster formulation, according to preliminary research from the National Institutes of Health.

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