COVID-19 live updates: Cruise ship must remain at sea after 55 people test positive – ABC News

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Odyssey of the Sea had set sail from Florida on Dec. 18.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.3 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 812,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
About 61.7% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Not long after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its quarantine guidance for health care workers, the largest union of registered nurses fired back at the agency calling the shorter isolation period “dangerous.”
National Nurses United (NNU) contended the update, which allows workers with COVID-19 to return to work seven days with a negative test if they are asymptomatic, would result in more transmission of the virus and focuses on profit margins, rather than stopping the spread.
“Sending frontline nurses and other health care workers to work while infected would be dangerous,” NNU President Zenei Triunfo-Cortez said in a statement.
-ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to health care workers who need to quarantine.
The updated rules come as health care facilities around the country are reporting staff shortages brought on by the rise in omicron cases.
Under the new guidance, the CDC said health care workers with COVID-19 and who are asymptomatic can return to work after seven days with a negative test.
“Isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages,” the agency said in its updated guidance.
Health care workers who received both vaccine doses and a booster don’t need to quarantine following high-risk exposures, the CDC said.
-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty
Airlines for America (A4A), the group that lobbies on behalf of all major U.S. airlines, sent a letter to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky Thursday urging her to reconsider the 10-day quarantine policy for fully vaccinated passengers who have breakthrough cases.
Nick Calio, A4A’s CEO, said the omicron surge “may exacerbate personnel shortages and create significant disruptions to our workforce and operations.”
He echoed calls from Jet Blue and Delta Airlines to shorten the isolation period to five days.
“In turn, those individuals would be able to end isolation with an appropriate testing protocol,” Calio wrote.
-ABC News’ Amanda Maile
Italian officials said they will shut down nightclubs for over a month and mandate masks outdoors as the country continues to see a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
The country recorded 44,595 new COVID-19 cases, the highes one-day total since the pandemic began. The previous record was 40,902 on Nov. 13, 2020.
Italian officials said the mask mandate and nightclub shutdown will last until Jan. 31, 2022.
-ABC News’ Ibtissem Guenfound


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