(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.3 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 815,000 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.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
Dec 24, 1:25 pm
Another outbreak reported on cruise ship
A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported on the South Florida-based cruise ship Carnival Freedom as Florida sees a massive surge in cases.
Carnival said a “small number” of people tested positive and are in isolation, but the cruise line did not disclose how many.
All passengers were vaccinated and tested ahead of the trip, Carnival said.
Carnival Freedom left Miami on Dec. 18 and stopped in Curacao on Dec. 21. Stops in Bonaire and Aruba were canceled but instead the ship will visit Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic on Friday, Carnival said.
The ship will return as planned to Miami on Dec. 26, Carnival said.
This is the third cruise ship outbreak this week. On Thursday, Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas ship reported 55 positive cases, days after setting sail from Florida. On Saturday, Royal Caribbean’s arrived in Miami with at least 48 confirmed cases, according to The Miami Herald.
ABC News’ Will Gretsky, Mina Kaji
Dec 24, 12:44 pm
UK breaks case record for 3rd day in a row
The United Kingdom recorded 122,186 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to official government data, setting a new record high for the third day in a row.
The U.K. has recorded 707,306 cases in the last week — a 48.2% jump from the previous week.
London has the highest proportion of cases for any region in England, with one in 20 people testing positive last week, according to new interim data from the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics.
ABC News’ Ibtissem Guenfoud
Dec 24, 11:36 am
New York sees record-smashing 44,431 cases in 1 day
New York state has set yet another daily case record with 44,431 new positive COVID-19 cases, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday. This comes as New Yorkers seek testing in record numbers ahead of the holidays.
This breaks Thursday’s record high of 38,835 cases.
The governor on Friday also announced new return-to-work guidelines for critical workers who test positive. If a critical worker has tested positive but is vaccinated, they can return to work after five days if they are asymptomatic or no longer have symptoms.
In New York state 95% of adults have had at least one vaccine dose, Hochul said, but she stressed that one dose isn’t enough.
ABC News’ Alexandra Faul, Will McDuffie
Dec 24, 11:18 am
Delta cancellations continue into the weekend
Delta’s flight cancellations are continuing into the weekend, with the airline citing “a combination of issues,” including weather and omicron.
“Up to 200 of 3,004 flights on Saturday may be canceled, and up to 150 are expected for Sunday,” Delta said.
So far on Christmas Eve there are 331 canceled flights between Delta, United and Alaska Airlines.
ABC News’ Mina Kaji
Dec 24, 9:39 am
White House to lift travel restrictions on southern African countries
The travel restrictions on eight southern African countries, put in place by the White House when omicron emerged, will be lifted on Dec. 31, according to a senior administration official.
This decision was recommended by the CDC for two reasons, the official said: vaccines and boosters have been determined to help prevent severe disease from omicron; and omicron is already prevalent in the U.S. and around the world so travel from those eight countries won’t have a major impact on U.S. cases.
Dec 24, 8:43 am
New record highs set in Illinois, Ohio, New York, New Jersey
New York and New Jersey set record case highs again on Thursday with 38,835 and 18,660 new daily cases respectively.
The new high came as New York saw a record high for testing as people check their status before seeing relatives for the holidays.
Illinois and Ohio also shattered pandemic case records Thursday with 18,942 and 15,989 new cases respectively, according to ABC Chicago station WLS and ABC Cincinnati affiliate WCPO.
Until this week, Ohio hadn’t seen over 12,000 daily cases since January, WCPO reported.
In response to the case surge in Cook County, Illinois, which encompasses Chicago, customers must show proof of vaccine inside restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment venues beginning Jan. 3.
Dec 24, 8:19 am
Hawaii Bowl canceled
Friday’s Hawaii Bowl has been canceled after the University of Hawaii pulled out.
“The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has forced us to not participate in the game,” the university’s athletics director, David Matlin, said in a statement.
The team in a statement cited “COVID issues within the program” as well as “season-ending injuries and transfers.”
Friday’s game was supposed to be against the University of Memphis.
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