COVID News: CDC urges at-home testing ahead of indoor gatherings

NEW YORK (WABC) — As the delta and omicron COVID variants spread in the U.S., the CDC is trying to boost testing as another tool to stop the spread. The agency is now urging people to use a rapid test before going to any indoor gathering, even if they are vaccinated and don’t have symptoms. … Read more

Canadian travellers at quarantine facilities report poor conditions, long waits

TORONTO — As Canada strengthens its travel restrictions amid the rise of the Omicron variant, frustration and confusion is ensuing for travellers stuck at quarantine facilities. Last week, Canada announced travel bans affecting 10 African countries. Canadian citizens and permanent residents who had been in any of the 10 countries are required to stay at … Read more

Harris County officials report first identified case of omicron COVID variant in Texas

Harris County officials Monday announced the first detected case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Texas. File photo AP Texas has identified its first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant, a strain flagged as potentially more infectious than any that has come before it, including the delta variant responsible for surges still happening across … Read more

More than 120 off work at GTA jail after health unit bars unvaccinated staff

More than 120 staff at Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton have been placed on leave after Halton Public Health banned unvaccinated staff from working at the jail last week amid a COVID-19 outbreak, according to a union memo obtained by the Star. The combination of outbreak control measures and staffing shortages is raising concerns for … Read more

‘It feels like we’re the whipping boys’: Venues and promoters scramble to implement new 50% capacity rule

THEATRES, MUSIC VENUES and promoters say they have been “blindsided” by new Covid-19 restrictions on their industry as they try to come up with ways to implement the changed rules.  From today, all indoor entertainment, cultural, community and sporting events that are indoors must operate at a maximum capacity of 50% and all of these … Read more

Schumer wants to extend freeze on student loan payments

NEW YORK (WABC) — New York Sen. Charles Schumer is pushing the Biden Administration to extend the payment freeze on student loans. Schumer said Monday he is asking for the extension as the omicron variant spreads. The pause is currently set to end on Feb. 1. He said student loan debt can be overwhelming and … Read more

Omicron Variant: What Experts Know So Far

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to spread, and is now detected in 54 countries. Local transmission continues to grow in places like Germany, France, Spain and Britain. READ MORE: Long-Term Care In MN: Gov. Deploying 1,000 Additional Certified Nursing Assistants By End Of January Eighteen cases are … Read more

Canadian traveller forced to stay in quarantine facility after negative COVID-19 test

MONTREAL — Lennard Skead says he felt like he’d been put in jail for a crime he didn’t commit when he returned to Canada from South Africa on Thursday. Skead, who lives in Brandon, Man., said he wasn’t allowed to leave a Toronto quarantine hotel until the day after he received a negative result on … Read more

Tarrant reports 2 COVID deaths, 435 new cases; positive test rate declines slightly

Tarrant County reported two COVID-19 deaths and 435 new cases on Monday. AP Tarrant County reported two COVID-19 deaths and 435 new cases on Monday. The latest pandemic-related deaths include an Arlington man in his 50s and a Fort Worth man older than 90. Both had underlying health conditions, according to officials. The county has … Read more

Investors wheel and deal with three hotels in Silicon Valley amid virus uncertainties

SAN JOSE — Three Silicon Valley hotels have landed new ownership deals that suggest investors hunger for lodging properties in the tech-laden region despite coronavirus-linked uncertainties. Two hotels in north San Jose have just undergone an ownership buyout while a hotel in Campbell has been bought by an East Bay investment group, documents on file … Read more