Pediatric Hospitalizations Quadruple Amid Omicron Surge

As the coronavirus continues to mutate and Omicron variant cases surge across the globe, New York State has witnessed pediatric hospitalizations quadruple since early December, CBS News reports. According to ABC 7, the increase in cases among children has a concentration in New York City and surrounding areas.

"The risks of COVID-19 for children are real," said acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "We are alerting New Yorkers to this recent striking increase in pediatric COVID-19 admissions so that pediatricians, parents, and guardians can take urgent action to protect our youngest New Yorkers."

CDC Cuts Isolation Time for Healthcare Workers

In other COVID news, in an effort to curb the impact felt by the shortage of healthcare workers, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the required isolation time for medical personnel who test positive for coronavirus. Per the new guidelines, healthcare staff who test positive can end isolation at 7 days, as opposed to the previously imposed 10-day isolation period, if they are free of symptoms and test negative.

“As the healthcare community prepares for an anticipated surge in patients due to Omicron, CDC is updating our recommendations to reflect what we know about infection and exposure in the context of vaccination and booster doses," explained CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement. "Our goal is to keep healthcare personnel and patients safe and to address and prevent undue burden on our healthcare facilities. Our priority remains prevention—and I strongly encourage all healthcare personnel to get vaccinated and boosted.”

Meghan Markle Receives Public Apology After Winning Lawsuit

The Mail delivered a front-page apology to the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, following a legal battle that spanned several years. According to Deadline, the U.K. tabloid was found to have breached Markle's privacy after they published a four-page letter the Duchess wrote to her estranged father following her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. The Mail attempted to appeal the case, but the filing was dismissed by the courts.

"This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right," Markle expressed in a statement following the ruling. “While this win is precedent-setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create."

Pro Boxer Killed in Suspected Road Rage Incident

Professional boxer Danny Kelly Jr. was fatally shot on Christmas Eve during what authorities suspect was a road rage incident. According to People, Kelly was driving along with his girlfriend and three young children en route to a holiday dinner when the incident unfolded. A vehicle pulled up alongside the family and shot into Kelly's car. The pro athlete's girlfriend and three children were not physically harmed during the shooting. So far, authorities have not named a suspect.