COVID-19 live updates: US pediatric hospitalizations reach highest level since fall

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(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.4 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 816,000 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.

Latest headlines:
-Biden says ‘we have to do better’ on COVID testing shortages
-Fauci says vaccine requirement for US flights should be ‘considered’
-NYC administers 180,000 booster shots in less than a week
-4 cruise ships report COVID outbreaks
-Surge in omicron cases will ‘get worse,’ Fauci says

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.

Dec 27, 2:30 pm
France to require employees to work from home 3 days a week

French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Véran announced a host of new measures Monday to combat the rising COVID-19 cases.

The country has recorded 30,383 cases in the last 24 hours, according to officials.

Starting Jan. 3, all companies will be required to have their employees work from home at least three days a week, when possible.

France will also limit large indoor gatherings 2,000 people and outdoor gatherings to 5,000.

Officials also announced a ban on eating and drinking in movie theaters and on public transportation. The new measures will be in effect for at least three weeks, officials said.

ABC News’ Ibtissem Guenfoud

Dec 27, 1:40 pm
Pediatric hospitalizations in US rising to highest levels since fall

Pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the U.S. are surging to their highest levels since early September.

Across the country, almost 2,000 children are hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus, according to federal data.

This is a roughly 60% from one month ago.

On average, about 260 children are being admitted to the hospital each day.

On a state level, more children are hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York than in any other state in the U.S.

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Dec 27, 12:56 pm
Biden says ‘we have to do better’ on COVID testing shortages

President Joe Biden said his administration has “to do better” to meet COVID-19 testing demands.

During the White House COVID-19 Response Team’s call with the National Governors Association Monday, the president directly addressed the shortages of kits being reported across the nation.

He said the steps the government had taken so far to make more COVID tests available is “not enough.”

“If I had known, we would have gone harder, quicker if we could have,” Biden said on the call.

He went on, “Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows we have more work to do and we’re doing it. We have to do more, we have to do better, and we will.”

Dec 27, 11:42 am
Fauci says vaccine requirement for US flights should be ‘considered’

Dr. Anthony Fauci said a COVID vaccine requirement for domestic air travel should be “seriously” considered.

“If you’re talking about requiring vaccination to get on a plane domestically, that is just another one of the requirements that I think is reasonable to consider,” he said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated. If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered,” he said.

This is not the first time that Fauci has argued for vaccine mandates domestic flights.

On Sunday, Fauci told ABC’s Jon Karl that “anything that could get people more vaccinated would be welcome.”

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos


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