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CDC Says Omicron BA.2 Variant is Spreading Fast in the U.S.
While it hasn’t been declared a variant of concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned about the transmissibility of the most recent COVID-19 variant, the Omicron BA.2.
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U.S. Mask Mandates Set to Return as Cases Rise

Cases have been rising across the United States, with the new Omicron subvariant accounting for the majority of new infections. Although health authorities are confident that BA.2 will not cause a surge as bad as its predecessor, they are beginning to put up our defenses by reinforcing mask mandates. 

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Hong Kong Study Finds That BA.2 COVID-19 Variant is More Severe for Children

Researchers in Hong Kong studied the severity of the BA.2 variant among a small number of children who were hospitalized for the most recent COVID-19 strain. They found that children who were hospitalized with the BA.2 variant were 18 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and seven times more likely to die compared to those hospitalized with the flu.

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Data Shows Mask Mandates in Schools Reduced COVID-19 Transmission by 72%
A group of researchers led by Duke University epidemiologist Danny Benjamin conducted a study on COVID-19 transmission rates in kindergarten to grade 12 public schools around U.S. districts. They found that schools with mask mandates in place had a significantly less COVID-19 transmission rate — 72% less, to be exact, which is about one-fourth the rate of schools with partial, optional, or no mask policies.
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