Biden tests negative for Covid, following possible exposure


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The Biden administration has announced a new plan to fight COVID-19 as the Omicron variant spreads. Above, Merline Jimenez (L) administers a COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swab to a person at a testing site in the international terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) amid an increase in cases of variants omicron on December 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Biden tested negative for Covid, following possible exposure

President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 again on Wednesday morning, days after coming into contact with a staff member who then tested positive for the virus.

On Friday, a staff member had spent about 30 minutes near the president on Air Force One.

“This staff member is fully vaccinated and boosted and tested negative before boarding, as required for anyone traveling with the president,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

This staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

President Biden received a PCR test on Monday and Wednesday, both results were negative.

The chair is regularly tested.

Omicron detected in all 50 US states

The Omicron COVID variant has now been detected in all 50 states.

The variant was just first reported in South Dakota on Wednesday, according to a state statement. South Dakota is the latest state in the United States to confirm a case of Omicron.

A case of the variant has been identified in Minnehaha County in a man in his twenties, the state of Pierre’s public health laboratory confirmed.

“The best way to protect yourself against serious illness with this variant is to get vaccinated,” state epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said. “We urge South Dakotas to watch for symptoms and get tested as soon as they experience symptoms.”

Biden extends pause on student loan payments

President Joe Biden has announced that he is extending the hiatus on federal student loan payments until May 1.

The president made the announcement on Wednesday, citing the ongoing pandemic and subsequent economic impacts. Payments were scheduled to resume on February 1, 2022.

“We know that millions of student loan borrowers are still facing the impacts of the pandemic and need more time to resume payments,” President Biden said in a statement.

“In the meantime, the Department of Education will continue to work with borrowers to ensure they have the support they need to make a smooth transition to repayment.”

FULL STORY : Federal student loan borrowers get another payment break as Omicron attacks the United States

China imposed lockdown restrictions on 13 million people after Omicron was detected

The city of Xi’an, in northern China, imposed strict home confinement on Wednesday for the city’s 13 million residents.

Under the new foreclosure rules imposed today, only one member of the household will be allowed out of the house to buy basic necessities. Authorities have also imposed restrictions on residents leaving the city.

It comes after the Omicron variant quickly spread to much of the world.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) official Lei Zhenglong initially warned that the country could not “lower its guard” with the detection of Omicron cases.

FULL STORY : China puts entire city of 13 million people on lockdown amid COVID outbreak

DC announces vaccine mandate inside

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a vaccination mandate for indoor spaces on Wednesday.

The mandate comes into effect on January 15, 2022 for bars, nightclubs, restaurants, gymnasiums and indoor entertainment venues.

By January 15, people aged 12 and over must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Two doses are required before February 15th.

FDA Approves First Antiviral Pill To Fight Covid

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday cleared the first antiviral pill to treat COVID-19.

The treatment, manufactured by Pfizer, eliminates the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk patients infected with the coronavirus.

The antiviral Paxlovid consists of 30 tablets to be taken at home over five days, but it should be started a few days after symptoms.

Paxlovid has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 89% in adults at high risk of developing serious illness when given within three days of symptom onset.

FULL STORY : FDA clears Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill amid Omicron outbreaks

NBA postpones Brooklyn-Portland game due to COVID

The National Basketball League (NBA) has postponed the Brooklyn-Portland game scheduled for Thursday due to COVID-19.

The league announced on Wednesday that the Nets-Trail Blazers game will be postponed because the Nets do not have the eight-man minimum available to play. There are 10 Nets players in health and safety protocols, including Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

This is the eighth postponement of coronavirus of the season and the third consecutive game for the Nets to be postponed. Brooklyn’s next possible game would be against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week that the NBA has no plans to suspend the season.

CDC urged to cut COVID positive isolation time in half

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urged to reduce the isolation time for a person who tests positive for Covid from ten days to five days.

President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that health officials were considering changing the 10-day guidelines, according to reports.

FULL STORY : CDC urged to cut COVID isolation time in half, from 10 to just five days amid Omicron surge

Amazon, pharmacies limit home test purchases

Amazon and pharmacies are limiting the number of in-home COVID-19 tests customers can purchase as demand increases ahead of the holidays.

An Amazon spokesperson said CNBC the company is experiencing stockouts on some tests due to increased demand. The company is working to obtain additional testing from its business partners, the spokesperson said.

Only 10 Amazon home PCR test kits are allowed per buyer. Testing from third-party vendors is also capped. Other vendors are responsible for setting their own buying limits, the Amazon spokesperson said.

Walgreens and CVS Health said Tuesday they are also limiting the number of home tests customers can purchase in-store and online.

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