12 min agoFor the second Christmas in a row, hospital workers will face the trauma of Covid-19 patient deathsFrom CNN’s Travis Caldwell
With the potentially more transmissible Omicron now the most widely detected variant in the US, hospitals are preparing for additional Covid-19 cases as millions of Americans face infection.
And for the second year in a row, many doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic will be treating these patients over the Christmas holiday.
Haleigh Seizys, a Covid-19 ICU nurse at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Wednesday that staff are “very worried about what’s to come after the holidays,” urging people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others against severe illness.
Day to day, things are tough,” Seizys said. “I have a patient who is not doing well. It takes a lot of time and effort from several different people to try and help these patients improve.
“I truly am exhausted,” she said, although she remains motivated to “help whoever I can.”
Co-workers are trying to “rally around each other” in the face of rising hospitalizations. She said those who are against mask mandates, including elected leaders, should see what she and others do daily.
“I genuinely wish that they could come and follow me for just an hour so they could see how much their feet hurt, and see how many people are trying to hold back tears day to day, and they can see the trauma these patients are going through,” Seizys said.
These people are dying very traumatic deaths, and it’s so hard to watch.”
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2 min agoFourth Covid-19 shot needed, according to German Health MinisterFrom CNN’s Nadine Schmidt in Berlin
Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Federal Minister of Health, speaks during a press conference on the current Corona situation on 22 December, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. (Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance/Getty Images)Germany’s health minister Karl Lauterbach said Germans will need a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to maintain protection from the Omicron variant.
“We will need a fourth vaccination,” Lauterbach told public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday night, adding that “We know this already — we need a specific variant vaccination against Omicron.”The protection of the booster vaccination administered so far “is not too durable — and we are prepared for that,” Lauterbach went on to say.
Germany has ordered vaccine doses from Pfizer/BioNTech specifically targeting Omicron “80 million doses in total, which we expect in April or May”, Lauterbach said.
Omicron could soon be dominant: On Wednesday, the head of Germany’s public health institute, the Robert Koch Insitute (RKI), said that the Omicron variant could be dominant in the country in two to three weeks.
Vaccination drive in full force: Lauterbach said that vaccination centers will be kept open over the Christmas holidays to keep Germany’s booster campaign up to speed and administer 30 million booster vaccinations by the end of the year.
In addition, Germany aims to get another 30 million vaccine shots administered by the end of January. Lauterbach said this strategy could ”dramatically” slow the spread of the virus.
In Germany, 70.5% of the population is fully vaccinated and 33.8% have received a booster shot, data from the RKI showed Thursday.
Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to achieve a first-time vaccination rate of 80% in Germany by January 7, Scholz’ spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit announced Wednesday.
34 min agoBeijing Winter Olympic officials “regret” NHL player pull-out From CNN’s Beijing Bureau
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics officials expressed “regret” Thursday that no National Hockey League (NHL) players will attend the Games in February.
The NHL said Wednesday it will opt out because of the “regular-season schedule having been materially disrupted as a result of increasing COVID cases and a rising number of postponed games.”
Speaking at a State Council news conference Thursday, Huang Chun, deputy director of epidemic prevention and control office of the Beijing Winter Olympic Organizing Committee, said organizers regretted the NHL decision.
Covid-19 prevention and control measures for the Games were “reassuring” and will “certainly reduce the risk of the spread of the infections” and “protect the health and safety of athletes and other personnel,” Huang added.Read more:
1 min agoChina admits Beijing Winter Olympics could bring Covid-19 cases From CNN’s Beijing Bureau
Deputy Head of virus prevention and control department of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games Organising Committee Huang Chun speaks during a press conference at the State Council Information Office (SCIO) building in Beijing on December 23, 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)China has acknowledged the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics could bring “Covid-19 cases or small clusters of infections,” an official said during a State Council news conference on Thursday.
“A large number of overseas personnel will gather, causing a very high risk of transmission,” the official said.
Despite the risk, China said it is fully prepared for the possible Covid-19 infections inside the Olympic bubble.
Deputy director of epidemic prevention and control office of the Beijing Winter Olympic Organizing Committee, Huang Chun, said any infected staff and athletes will not be able to compete or work, and will be sent to a designated hospital or isolation facility depending on whether the patient has symptoms or not.
Symptomatic patients would be discharged after their body temperature returns to normal, respiratory symptoms disappear and present two consecutive Covid-19 tests within 24 hours. They will then be able to choose whether to participate in the next stage of the competition or return to work, Huang said.
As for asymptomatic patients, Huang said they will be tested every 24 hours in isolation and will be released if they present negative results twice within 24 hours, including one within six hours ahead of the competition.
Huang said the committee and Chinese people were “very concerned” about the possible impact of potential Covid-19 cases inside the Olympic bubble on China’s wider society.
“Our line of defense will prevent infections from spreading to the city, and we should hold this line especially regarding the highly contagious Omicron,” Huang said.1 hr 10 min agoThis Chinese city found a Covid cluster. All 13 million residents are now under lockdownFrom CNN’s Jessie Yeung in Hong Kong
On Tuesday, the central Chinese city of Xi’an recorded 52 new Covid-19 cases. By Wednesday, authorities had imposed strict lockdown measure
Why it’s so hard to find a Covid test right now
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