COVID-19 Update Archive For The Month Of December, 2021

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by Art and Maura Keene

As Of Monday, May 24, 2021 The Indy’s COVID-19 Daily Update became the COVID-19 Weekly Update. As of Wednesday July 14 ,2021 the Weekly Update moved to Wednesdays. Each Wednesday we will post the latest confirmed case counts for Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Massachusetts, for the nation and for the globe.  

Making Sense of the Numbers
Authorities caution that the confirmed case count is a substantial underestimate of the actual number of cases.  

We rely on well-vetted sources to produce our daily update and draw mostly from the following: Center for Disease Control (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Johns Hopkins University, Yale School of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Washington PostNew York Times, The Guardian, NPR, STAT News, and the Twitter feeds and/or blogs of Andy Slavitt, Greg Gonsolves, Ezekiel Emanuel, Marc Lipsich, and David Wallace-Wells.

Archives
The Indy began posting COVID-19 Daily Update on March 18, 2020. Here are links to archives of previous months’ posts. March  April , May,  June,  July,  August,  September,  October,  November,  December,  JanuaryFebruaryMarch 21April 21May 21June 21, July 21August 21September 21, October 21, November 21
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Henceforth, numbers in parentheses will indicate increase or decrease in count from previous Wednesday.

Numbers in parentheses indicate increase since the previous week.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY December 29, as of 8 AM
Total Confirmed Cases in MA – 1,079,660 (+53,531)
Total Deaths: 20,138 (+211)
Confirmed Cases in Amherst –4111 (+12 ) Currently Active – 117 (+36) 14 day incidence average 34.1/100,000
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases: 2565 through May 15, 2021
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 983 (+65)
Amherst Public Schools Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 30 (+11). Case Count through November 30. No reporting for December.
Source For Amherst – Town Of Amherst Dashboard
Source For UMass UMass Dashboard
Source For Amherst Public Schools – ARPS Dashboard
Sources for Amherst Area Schools and Colleges.
Source for Massachusetts: NYT Daily Dashboard
Confirmed Cases in USA – 54,148,544 (+1,894,696)
Confirmed Deaths – 842,161 (+11,171)
Source: Worldometer
Confirmed Cases Worldwide:283,390,430
Deaths: 5,434,192 Source: Worldometers see also: Johns Hopkins University.

News:
Massachusetts Case Count Surpasses 1 Million
(Boston Globe)
Massachusetts Is Not Seeing Spike In Pediatric COVID Hospitalizations That Other States Are
(NBC Boston)
UMass Requiring Vaccine and Booster For Spring Term Across Five Campus System
(Boston Globe)
US Breaks Daily Record For New COVID Cases
(New York Times)
As At-Home Tests Surge, Doubts Rise About Accuracy Of Public COVID Counts
(New York Times)
Health Experts Call New CDC COVID Guidance Reckless and Dangerous
(Gizmodo)
New CDC Guidance Raises Concerns Among Health Experts
(NPR)
FDA To Allow Vaccine Boosters For Ages 12-15
(New York Times)
Pediatric Hospitalizations Surging With Omicron
(ABC News)
What Omicron Means For Schools This Winter
(The Week)
Schools Might Be Heading For A January Omicron Break
(New York Magazine)
As Omicron Spreads, Unvaccinated Americans Remain Defiant
(New York Times)
How Omicron Broke Covid Testing
(Vox)
How To Recognize Omicron Symptoms
(Vox)
Omicron Is Replaying Our Pandemic Mistakes On Fast Forward
(The Atlantic)
How Many COVID-19 Booster Shots Will We Need?
(The Atlantic)

UPDATE WEDNESDAY December 22, as of 8 AM
Total Confirmed Cases in MA – 1,026,129 (+40,183)
Total Deaths: 19,927 (+202)
Confirmed Cases in Amherst –3999 (+76 ) Currently Active – 81 (-46)
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases: 2565 through May 15, 2021
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 918 (+86)
Amherst Public Schools Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 30 (+11). Case Count through November 30. No reporting for December.
Source For Amherst – Town Of Amherst Dashboard
Source For UMass UMass Dashboard
Source For Amherst Public Schools – ARPS Dashboard
Sources for Amherst Area Schools and Colleges.
Source for Massachusetts: NYT Daily Dashboard
Confirmed Cases in USA – 52,253,848 (+966,281)
Confirmed Deaths – 830,990 (+7,606)
Source: Worldometer
Confirmed Cases Worldwide:276,730,256
Deaths: 5,388,501 Source: Worldometers see also: Johns Hopkins University.

News:
Baker Deploys National Guard To Assist Stressed Hospitals. Recommends Wearing Masks Indoors
(Boston Globe)
Massachusetts COVID Metrics – 13,919 New Breakthrough Cases Last Week
(NBC Boston)
FDA Authorizes New Pill To Treat COVID-19
(CNN)
Omicron Is Now The Dominant COVID Strain In US Representing 73% of New Cases
(CNN)
Biden Assures Vaccinated Americans That They Can Go Ahead With Holiday Plans. New Federal Efforts Expand Testing And Vaccine Sites
(CNN)
Scientists Warn Omicron Will Surge, Biden’s Plan Is Insufficient
(New York Times)
WIth COVID Pediatric Cases Surging, Millions Of American Children Remain Unvaccinated
(ABC News)
Here’s What We’ve Learned So Far About Surging Omicron Variant
(Science News)
Omicron Will Overwhelm America’s Emergency Rooms
(The Atlantic)
South African Study Offers Hope That Omicron Is Milder Than Delta As Countries Reimpose Curbs
(Reuters)
Finding A Coronavirus Test Right Now Is A Struggle As Omicron And Holidays Collide
(CNN)
Answers To Six Big Questions About COVID Testing
(Science News)
Israel Says It Will Become First Nation To Offer Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Dose
(Washington Post)
What Are The Symptoms Of New Omicron Variant?
(New York Times)
How To Travel Responsibly During Omicron Wave
(New York Times)
It’s Time To Up Your Mask Game
(Boston.com)
New Congressional Study Shows Trump Sabotaged Nation’s Early COVID Response
(Slate)

UPDATE WEDNESDAY December 15, as of 8 AM
Total Confirmed Cases in MA – 985,946 (+33,977)
Total Deaths: 19,725 (+158)
Confirmed Cases in Amherst –3923 (+123 ) Currently Active – 127 (+38)
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases: 2565 through May 15, 2021
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 832 (+98)
Amherst Public Schools Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 30 (+11). Case Count through November 30. No reporting for December.
Source For Amherst – Town Of Amherst Dashboard
Source For UMass UMass Dashboard
Source For Amherst Public Schools – ARPS Dashboard
Sources for Amherst Area Schools and Colleges.
Source for Massachusetts: NYT Daily Dashboard
Confirmed Cases in USA – 51,287,567 (+1,017,431)
Confirmed Deaths – 823,384 (+11,179)
Source: Worldometer
Confirmed Cases Worldwide:272,448,383
Deaths: 5,345,084 Source: Worldometers see also: Johns Hopkins University.

News:
Massachusetts Begins At-Home Rapid Testing Program
(WWLP)
Pressure Mounts In Massachusetts For New Statewide Mask Mandate
(Boston Globe)
US COVID Death Toll Surpasses 800,000
(NPR)
Iowa Sees Record COVID Hospitalizations
(Des Moines Register)
Cornell University Shuts Down Ithaca Campus In Response To COVID-19 Surge
(NPR)
Colleges Move Exams Online, Encourage Boosters As Coronavirus Cases Rise and Omicron Fears Grow
(MSN)
Pfizer’s Anti-COVID Pill Prevents Severe Illness And Should Work Against Omicron Variant Company Says
(Washington Post)
Omicron Is Spreading Faster Than Any Other Variant
(CNN)
Omicron Is About To Overwhelm Us
(New York Magazine)
America Is Not Prepared For Omicron
(The Atlantic)
Omicron Is A Dress Rehearsal For The Next Pandemic
(New York Times)
Omicron’s Explosive Growth Is A Warning Sign
(The Atlantic)
The Good And Bad News About The Omicron Variant
(Vox)
Why US Health Care Workers Are Quitting In Droves
(The Atlantic)
NFL COVID Tracker: Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. Join Over 90 Players On COVID List
(CBS Sports)
Pandemic Accelerates Decline In Campus-Based Childcare
(Chronicle Of Higher Education)

UPDATE WEDNESDAY December 8, as of 8 AM
Total Confirmed Cases in MA – 951,969 (+32,872)
Total Deaths: 19,567 (+163)
Confirmed Cases in Amherst –3800 (+78 ) Currently Active – 89 (+51)
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases: 2565 through May 15, 2021
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 734 (+67)
Amherst Public Schools Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 30 (+11). Case Count through November 30. No reporting for December.
Source For Amherst – Town Of Amherst Dashboard
Source For UMass UMass Dashboard
Source For Amherst Public Schools – ARPS Dashboard
Sources for Amherst Area Schools and Colleges.
Source for Massachusetts: NYT Daily Dashboard
Confirmed Cases in USA – 50,270,136 (+841,143)
Confirmed Deaths – 812,205 (+9160)
Source: Worldometer
Confirmed Cases Worldwide:267,581,370
Deaths: 5,290,483 Source: Worldometers see also: Johns Hopkins University.

News:
Massachusetts Reports Rise In Breakthrough Cases and Hospitalizations
(MassLive)
Michigan Sets Hospitalization Record. Leads Nation In New Coronavirus Cases
(CNN)
Omicron Variant Partly Evades Vaccine Protection
(CNN)
Omicron Is Highly Infectious But Perhaps Less Severe, Early Report Suggests
(New York Times)
Pfizer Says Three Doses Of Its Vaccine Provides Protection Against Severe Disease With Omicron
(New York Times)
How The Omicron Variant Got So Many Scary Mutations So Quickly
(Scientific American)
The Omicron Variant Reveals The True Danger Of Global Vaccine Apartheid
(The Guardian)
Omicron’s Explosive Growth Is A Warning Sign
(The Atlantic)
The Pandemic Is Not Over Warns Oxford Jab Creator
(The Guardian)
50% Of People Who Survive COVID-19 Face Lingering Symptoms
(Washington Post)
CDC Urges At Home Testing For Indoor Gatherings
(ABC New York)
Here’s How To Stay Safe Over The Holidays
(NPR)

UPDATE WEDNESDAY December 1, as of 8 AM
Total Confirmed Cases in MA – 919,097 (+18,112)
Total Deaths: 19,404 (+95 )
Confirmed Cases in Amherst –3722 (+33 ) Currently Active – 38 (-1)
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases: 2565 through May 15, 2021
UMass: Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 667 (24)
Amherst Public Schools Cumulative Positive Cases Beginning September 1, 2021 – 19 (+2). Case Count through October 31. No reporting for November.
Source For Amherst – Town Of Amherst Dashboard
Source For UMass UMass Dashboard
Source For Amherst Public Schools – ARPS Dashboard
Sources for Amherst Area Schools and Colleges.
Source for Massachusetts: NYT Daily Dashboard
Confirmed Cases in USA – 49,428,993 (+517,028)
Confirmed Deaths – 803,045 (+5,846)
Source: Worldometer
Confirmed Cases Worldwide:263,249,085
Deaths: 5,237,116 Source: Worldometers see also: Johns Hopkins University.

News:
UMass To Require COVID Boosters For Spring Attendance
(MassLive)
COVID Booster Demand Skyrocketing In Massachusetts
(CBS Boston)
Is It Time To Get Serious About Masking Inside Again In Massachusetts?
(Boston Globe)
First Omicron Case Identified In California
(New York Times)
Heavily Mutated Omicron Variant Puts Scientists On Alert
(Scientific American)
What We Know About The Omicron Variant
(New York Times)
Omicron: We Still Know Almost Nothing
(The Atlantic)
A Reason For Optimism On Omicron
(Stat News)
Moderna CEO Says Existing Vaccines May Be Less Effective Against Omicron Variant
(Seattle Times)
Here’s What Vaccine Makers Are Doing To Fight Omicron
(Time)
US Tightens Testing For Travelers Amid Omicron Concerns
(New York Times)
Omicron Variant Reveals True Danger Of Global Vaccine Apartheid
(The Guardian)
US Health Panel Endorses Merck’s COVID-19 Pill
(Al Jazeera)
The World’s Highest COVID Death Rate Is In Peru. How Did That Happen?
(NPR)
We’re Avoiding The Hard Questions About Living With Coronavirus Long Term
(The Atlantic)
Trump Tested Positive For COVID-19 Three Days Before Debate With Biden
(The Guardian)

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