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CDC May Recommend Better Masks Against Omicron: Report

   DailyWire.com
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The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is mulling whether to update its guidance on masking as the number of Omicron cases soars, according to a new report.

“The agency will likely advise people opt for the highly protective N95 or KN95 masks worn by healthcare personnel, if they can do so consistently, the newspaper reported, citing an official close to the deliberations,” Reuters reported, citing The Washington Post.

“The CDC guidance is expected to say that if people can ‘tolerate wearing a KN95 or N95 mask all day, you should,’ the report said.”

Cases of COVID-19 topped 1 million new infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, “the highest daily total of any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.”

While the number of new cases has skyrocketed, the risk of winding up in the intensive care unit or dying from the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is 83% less compared to the Delta strain, according to a new study.

In addition, the risk of hospitalization or death for an Omicron infection is 65% less than Delta, the Canadian study found.

Despite the seemingly good news, the researchers still had a warning. “While severity is likely to be reduced, the absolute number of hospitalizations and impact on the healthcare system may nevertheless be significant due to the increased transmissibility of Omicron.”

“Nevertheless, Omicron appears to demonstrate lower disease severity for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. While severity is likely to be reduced, the absolute number of hospitalizations and impact on the healthcare system is likely to be significant due to the large number of Omicron infections,” the study says.

The Canadian study mirrors findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rate of hospitalizations of Americans with COVID-19 has dropped 50% amid the new Omicron variant compared to record highs seen a year ago, new CDC data shows.

Even though the rate of cases has more than tripled since Omicron emerged around Thanksgiving — earlier this week there were more than 1 million new cases diagnosed on a single day — just 3% of people with the virus are being admitted in hospitals, data from the CDC shows.

That rate is less than half the 6.5% of cases that needed hospitalization exactly a year ago when the average daily case count was about 250,000, the data shows. Deaths from the virus are less than a third of what was recorded last January at about 1,200 per day, far fewer than the record high of 3,400 a year ago, CDC data shows.

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 now accounts for nearly every new case of the virus blanketing the U.S., according to the CDC.

The new strain represented 95.4% of sequenced COVID-19 cases during the week ending on New Year’s Day, while the once-dominant Delta variant made up just only 4.6% of sequenced cases, the CDC said.

Omicron took over in just a matter of weeks. At the beginning of December, the variant accounted for less than 1% of sequenced cases, with Delta making up 99% of them. By the week ending on Christmas Day, the CDC estimated the variant to be 58.6% of all new cases.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to josephcurl@dailywire.com.

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