“As we come home from holiday gatherings, it is as important as ever to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 this season,” Hochul said in a statement. “The vaccine is the best tool we have to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe as we head into the new year.”
Children ages 5-11 in New York are now also required to show proof of at least one shot before being allowed access to indoor dining, fitness or entertainment, and adults will be required to show proof of two vaccinations for those areas.
“We need to take very bold action. We’re seeing restrictions starting to come back. We’re seeing shutdowns,” de Blasio said. “We can not let those restrictions come back. We can not have shutdowns in New York.”
Nationally, the seven-day average of new daily cases was 198,404 as of Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Experts continue to stress vaccination
As cases spread across the US, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking steps to ease staffing shortages among health care workers.
The agency also specified that health care workers don’t need to quarantine “following high-risk exposures” if they’ve gotten all recommended vaccinations, including a booster shot. Quarantine refers to when people who have been exposed to the virus but have not yet been diagnosed with an infection need to avoid others.
The CDC stressed that the new guidelines don’t extend to the general public and only apply to the health care workforce.
The change was spurred by the expected surge in hospitalizations from the Omicron variant, and the case loads already stressing the health care system.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday the Omicron variant poses a big threat to the health care system in the US, despite evidence it may not cause as severe an infection as previous variants.
“Even though we’re pleased by the evidence from multiple countries that it looks like there is a lesser degree of severity, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t get complacent about that because it might still lead to a lot of hospitalizations in the United States,” Fauci told ABC “This Week” Sunday.
“We’re particularly worried about those who are in that unvaccinated class, that you know, tens and tens of millions of Americans who are eligible for vaccination who have not been vaccinated, those are the vulnerable ones when you have a virus that is extraordinarily effective in getting to people and effecting them the way Omicron is,” Fauci said.
Coronavirus brings holiday travel woes and obstacles for sporting events
The altered cruises represent a small fraction of the dozens of cruise ships underway in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the wider Atlantic and the Pacific at any given time this month.
In addition to impacts on travelers, sporting events have also been postponed or canceled due to increased spread of Covid-19.
The Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland, featuring Boston College and East Carolina University, will not be played Monday, officials said. Neither will the inaugural Fenway Bowl in Boston between the University of Virginia and Southern Methodist University, which had been set for Wednesday.
The Miami Hurricanes have withdrawn from the Sun Bowl, set for Friday in El Paso, Texas. Their opponent, the Washington State Cougars, are working with the Pac-12 conference and the Sun Bowl Association to find a replacement opponent.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Jacqueline Howard, Forrest Brown, Veronica Stracqualursi, Pete Muntean, Aaron Cooper, Wayne Sterling and Jill Martin contributed to this report.