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Daily coronavirus cases up 18 percent, according to CDC director

A sign at a New York museum on Nov. 19 explains that visitors need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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The seven-day average of reported coronavirus infections has increased by 18 percent, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said at a Monday news conference.

The rise in cases and a 6 percent increase in the seven-day average of hospital admissions come just days after the Food and Drug Administration recommended booster shots for all adults 18 and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose, making more than 135 million people eligible for boosters. Anyone who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine also is eligible for a booster.

Here’s what to know

  • The White House announced that 95 percent of federal employees have complied with the vaccination mandate before a Monday evening deadline set by the Biden administration in September.
  • Vice President Harris announced $1.5 billion in funding to help eliminate the shortage of doctors and nurses in underserved communities by providing scholarships and repaying the student loans of providers who work in medically needy areas.
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday on NBC News’s “Meet The Press” that he has not implemented a vaccine requirement for domestic air travel because other strategies, such as mandatory masking, are proving effective.
  • In Europe, which the World Health Organization recently called the latest “epicenter” of the pandemic, large-scale, violent protests broke out over the weekend against renewed coronavirus restrictions, including a nationwide lockdown taking effect Monday in Austria.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

The latest: The CDC has loosened many of its recommendations for battling the coronavirus, a strategic shift that puts more of the onus on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions, to limit viral spread.

Variants: BA.5 is the most recent omicron subvariant, and it’s quickly become the dominant strain in the U.S. Here’s what to know about it, and why vaccines may only offer limited protection.

Vaccines: Vaccines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 12 and older get an updated coronavirus booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant circulating now. You’re eligible for the shot if it has been at least two months since your initial vaccine or your last booster. An initial vaccine series for children under 5, meanwhile, became available this summer. Here’s what to know about how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections and booster history.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. The omicron variant is behind much of the recent spread.

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