The Morning Dispatch: Omicron Meets Hospital Overwhelm

Happy Wednesday! If any U.S. Senate candidates would like to be interviewed by a reporter, attempt to hang up the phone on said reporter, unknowingly fail to hang up the phone on said reporter, and proceed to have an angry conversation with their spouse about said reporter while said reporter continues listening in, please let us know.

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Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Citing a “wide prediction interval,” the Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday dramatically revised its estimates of Omicron prevalence in the United States for the week ending December 18, from 73 percent down to 23 percent. The agency still believes Omicron is outcompeting other COVID-19 variants, and pegged its prevalence during the week ending December 25 at about 59 percent, with a 95 percent confidence interval between 42 percent and 74 percent.

  • The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that preliminary National Institutes of Health data suggest antigen COVID-19 tests are able to detect Omicron, but may have reduced sensitivity—meaning they could miss more actual Omicron infections than they did with previous variants. The regulatory agency encouraged those who test negative with an antigen test but have symptoms to seek out a molecular test.

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