The Covid-19 outbreak is affecting people's lives all over the United States


Experts predict that things will only get worse

According to the most recent data from Johns Hopkins University, the country broke records at least four times this week for its seven-day average of new daily Covid-19 cases, reaching an all-time high of more than 386,000 new daily infections on Friday. The large number of cases is already causing problems in the country.

The Covid-19 outbreak is affecting people's lives all over the United States

Suspension subway lines

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City has announced the suspension of three subway lines, the B, Z, and W, which serve various parts of the boroughs.

Healthcare services, which were already stretched thin after several surges of the virus and are now being strained again by an increasing number of Covid-19 patients, are also feeling the effects.

The University of Maryland Capital Region Health joined a growing list of medical centres in the state this week in activating emergency protocols, following a sharp increase in cases that exacerbated staffing shortages and overburdened emergency departments.

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Many flights canceled 

Thousands of flights have already been cancelled or delayed due to staff and crew absences during the holiday season. The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Friday that a "increased number" of its employees had tested positive for the virus, and that "traffic volume at some facilities may be reduced to maintain safety, which may result in delays during busy periods."

The latest outbreak, which has sent case numbers soaring around the world, is being fueled by the Omicron variant, the most contagious coronavirus strain yet, according to health experts.

The virus is now extremely contagious, and previous mitigation measures that were effective may no longer be effective.

Even a brief, transient encounter can now result in an infection, according to Reiner, such as if someone's mask is loose, or if a person quickly pulls their mask down, or if a person enters an elevator where someone else has just coughed.

The transmissibility of the variant helps to explain the staggering number of infections reported worldwide, including in the United States. Several states have reported new case and hospitalisation highs in the last week, shattering previous records.

Through PCR testing, New Jersey recorded over 28,000 new Covid-19 cases. 

Other states, including Arkansas, Maryland, and New York, have also reported new case number records.

In addition, an increase in infections, particularly among children, could soon lead to an increase in hospital admissions, according to infectious diseases expert Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services, child Covid-19 hospital admissions have already reached an all-time high this week, with a record average of 378 children admitted to hospitals on any given day over the week ending December 28.

Children under the age of five are not yet eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, and a shot for those age groups is unlikely to be available until mid-2022, according to experts.

Concerns about going back to school

With the virus spreading, some staff and experts are concerned about the implications of school reopenings.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, New England's largest public sector union, urged the state education commissioner earlier this week to keep schools closed on Monday, except for staff Covid-19 testing.

Despite the teacher union's request, the state's Executive Office of Education announced on Friday that schools will reopen on Monday.

According to a statement issued on Saturday, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) announced that all district schools will be open virtually until Friday, January 7, for all students and staff.

According to verified tweets from both districts, neighbouring Fulton County Schools and DeKalb County Schools announced Saturday that they will begin online classes next week when students return to school after the holiday break.

Fulton and DeKalb also intend to resume in-person instruction on January 10.

Meanwhile, as a result of the case surge, an increasing number of colleges and universities across the country are making changes to the start of the 2022 spring semester.

Duke University said Friday that it has extended its plan for remote classes by another week due to a "incredibly high" positive case count among faculty and an increasing number of cases among students who are already in the area.

Michigan State University announced on Friday that classes will begin primarily online on January 10 and will remain online for at least three weeks.

Source: CNN