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VOA News 211220_07pm

VOA 2-min news 211220_07pm

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VOA 2-min news 211220_07pm



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This is VOA News. Via remote, I’m Liz Palka.

COVID-19 cases surged around the United States over the weekend, dashing hopes for a more normal holiday season.

The highly contagious variant also (is) resurrecting restrictions and stretching the country's testing infrastructure, ahead of holiday travel gatherings.

The spike is alarming public health officials who fear an explosion of infections after the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The fast-spreading new Omicron variant of the coronavirus has become dominant in the United States with lightning speed.

The variant now accounts for 73% of US coronavirus infections, based on sequencing data for the week ending in … on December 18th.

That's according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday.

With the new variant in circulation, COVID-19 cases are now doubling in one and a half to three days in areas with community transmission, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

Lines for COVID-19 tests wrapped around the block in New York City, Washington, DC, and other US cities over the weekend, as people clamored to find out if they were infected before celebrating the holidays with family.

Coronavirus infections are surging in Britain, up 60% in just a week, as Omicron has replaced Delta as the dominant coronavirus variant.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said more new restrictions may have to be introduced to slow the spread.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth the Second has decided not to spend Christmas at the royal Sandringham estate in eastern England, amid concerns about the fast spreading variant.

Repella said the 95-year-old queen will spend the holidays at Windsor Castle where she has stayed for most of the pandemic.

We continue to follow these stories on voanews.com. This is VOA news.

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