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omicron variant could take weeks to untangle

Supply chain woes hit toy-giving charities during the holiday season

COVID-19 By The Numbers

Wednesday, December 1

11:43 a.m.: First omicron variant case in nation detected in San Francisco

The first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in the U.S. was found in San Francisco late last month, according to state and local health officials.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the person was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29. The person was vaccinated but had not received a booster shot, according to the Associated Press.

The news comes as scientists continue to study the risks posed by the new strain of the virus. The Biden administration moved late last month to restrict travel from Southern Africa, despite the Netherlands being the first country to identify an infection.

Where the variant originated is still unclear, but clusters of cases have also been identified in about two dozen other nations.

11:42 a.m.: Mysteries of the omicron variant could take weeks to untangle

Scientists say it could be weeks before they better understand how dangerous the omicron variant is.

According to the Associated Press, it’s still unknown whether the newest coronavirus “variant of concern” spreads faster than delta or makes people sicker.

According to the Associated Press, it also isn’t clear how much protection is offered either by our vaccines or a person’s immunity after recovering from another COVID-19 variant.

There are lots of guesses but little hard evidence as scientists race to find answers amid scrutiny from an anxious public. In the meantime, scientists urge people to get vaccinated and take other public health measures such as masking indoors.

11:35 a.m.: Supply chain woes hit toy-giving charities during the holiday season

As supply chain bottlenecks create shortages of many items, some charities are struggling to secure holiday gift wishes from kids in need, according to the Associated Press.

They’re reporting they can’t find enough items in stock or are facing shipping delays both in receiving and distributing the gifts.

The founder of One Simple Wish said many gift requests for gaming consoles and electronic items submitted to the charity have been out of stock. Another charity can’t find enough doll styling heads, racially diverse Barbies and other things to give to kids in need.

One expert believes charities are also bound to see fewer toy donations directly from manufacturers this holiday season.

Find older coronavirus updates on our previous blog page here.

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