Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Southeast U.S. poised for a firestorm of omicron cases, with few safeguards in place


January 4, 2022

Rebecca Blackwell, Associated Press

People wait in line in their cars to be tested for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing site at Zoo Miami, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in Miami.

The United States is heading into the third year of the coronavirus pandemic with the extremely contagious omicron variant poised to ignite a firestorm of infection across the Southeast after exploding through the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Lower vaccination rates and fewer mask and vaccine mandates have created a much different environment for the omicron variant to spread in the South, leaving experts unsure whether outbreaks will end up deadlier than in the North.

Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi are among the states experiencing the sharpest increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations since Christmas, according to data tracked by the Washington Post. And the situation may only get worse, as initial outbreaks in metropolitan areas spread to more poorly vaccinated rural regions.


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