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Omicron

News and updates about Omicron

Radio host calls for unvaxxed to be denied hospital care

Howard Stern says: "In my America, you'd go home and die," claims "nothing happened" to anyone as a result of vaccination.

Radio host calls for unvaxxed to be denied hospital care

Canceling quarantine for children and teachers - a dangerous precedent?

If unvaccinated teachers do not have to quarantine when exposed to a COVID-19 carrier, can Israel require other adults to do so?

No quarantine for children or teachers - a dangerous precedent?

Top pediatrician: 'Quarantine harms children more than the Omicron'

'Ending quarantine for children is the right thing - I've seen up close the price children pay for quarantine,' top pediatrician says.

'Quarantine harms children more than the Omicron'

Israel to end Green Pass?

Health Ministry examining next steps for thrice-vaccinated whose Green Pass is set to expire, considers eliminating system entirely.

Israel to end Green Pass?

Professor Nachman Ash: 'We might be able to cancel quarantine for children'

'If we don't see unusual outbreak of PIMS in other countries, we may change quarantine rules for children,' top Health Min. official says.

'We might be able to cancel quarantine for children'

US to distribute N95 masks for free

Biden administration to announce plan to distribute hundreds of millions of free, high-quality masks.

US to distribute N95 masks for free

WHO: No need to give booster shots to the under-18s

Despite clear evidence of waning vaccine immunity over time, children & adolescents don't need top-up doses, says WHO's chief scientist.

WHO: No need to give booster shots to the under-18s

Israel to distribute 25-30 million free antigen tests

Health Minister Horowitz urges: 'Use the tests, safeguard those at risk - it's the social responsibility of each and every one of us.'

Israel to distribute 25-30 million free antigen tests

'Omicron wave has not yet peaked - infections are still increasing'

Those returning from a shortened quarantine 'liable to still be contagious,' warns Prof. Mevorach, head of Hadassah's corornavirus ward.

'Omicron wave has not peaked - infections are still increasing'

Researcher: Israel has second highest infection rate in the world

Israel is days away from peak of Omicron wave, says Prof. Eran Segal. 2 million Israelis likely have been infected with Omicron.

Researcher: Israel has second highest infection rate on earth

Health Min. losing control: 'I don't know how many new cases there were yesterday'

'Obvious that when you take shortcuts you'll let someone who is still contagious out of quarantine,' Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis says.

Health Min. losing control: 'I don't know how many new cases'

Top doctor: 'I hope this will be the last wave of coronavirus'

Dr. Orly Greenfeld speaks with Israel National News about Omicron & how to raise the reliability of antigen tests.

Top doctor: 'I hope this will be the last wave of coronavirus'

Pfizer CEO: Current wave will be last with so many restrictions

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says COVID-19 will be around for many years, but current wave will be 'last with so many restrictions.'

Pfizer CEO: Current wave will be last with so many restrictions

JCC Manhattan aiming to help people 'reclaim pre-COVID life'

'Each of these spikes makes it harder for people to reclaim pre-COVID life,' JCC Manhattan's new director says.

JCC Manhattan aiming to help people 'reclaim pre-COVID life'

Health Minister promoting shortening of quarantine to 5 days

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz instructs professionals to prepare plan to further shorten the COVID-19 isolation period.

Quarantine will be shortened to 5 days

Top health official tests positive for COVID-19

Health Ministry advisor Professor Ran Balicer announces he tested positive for COVID-19.

Top health official tests positive for COVID-19

Health Ministry chief: If case numbers rise quickly, we will have to consider lockdown

Prof. Nachman Ash says next week is "critical" in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'If case numbers rise, we'll have to consider lockdown'

Fauci: Unclear if yearly boosters will be needed

Top US infectious disease expert: We've only recently boosted people, it's not clear yet if we'll need to do it every year.

Fauci: Unclear if yearly boosters will be needed

Subvariant of Omicron detected in Israel

Subvariant known as BA2 has already been discovered in several countries including China, Denmark, Canada and Singapore.

Subvariant of Omicron detected in Israel

Free antigen tests for Israeli families?

Pharmaceutical Association of Israel launches project to distribute free antigen tests to families with 4 or more children.

Free antigen tests for Israeli families?

Dramatic rise in number of haredi children getting vaccinated against COVID-19

New Health Ministry data shows 44% rise in vaccinations among haredi children.

Dramatic rise in number of haredi children getting vaccinated

England shortens COVID quarantine to 5 days

Move will help address shortage of hospital staff, although data show Omicron is already waning in England.

England shortens COVID quarantine to 5 days

Top doctor: 'ICUs aren't filled with coronavirus patients'

Prof. Galia Rahav, top doctor at Sheba Medical Center, says hospitals are 'completely packed, we feel the rise in new COVID-19 cases.'

Top doctor: 'ICUs aren't filled with coronavirus patients'

AstraZeneca: Third dose increases antibody response to Omicron

New data from ongoing trial shows increased antibody response to COVID-19 variants following third dose booster with Vaxzevria.

AstraZeneca: Third dose increases antibody response to Omicron

How the Israeli economy can remain strong amid Omicron uncertainty

The country must do everything in its power to keep its university campuses open and running. Opinion.

The Israeli economy can remain strong amid Omicron uncertainty

Spain: "Omicron is just like the flu"

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is amongst the first European leaders to push for treating Omicron like the seasonal flu.

Spain: "Omicron is just like the flu"

Researchers: Israel may see up to 2 million COVID-19 infections

Hebrew University researchers predict Omicron wave will peak in two weeks, with up to 2 million active cases.

Researchers: Israel may see up to 2 million COVID-19 infections

'Our policy is to keep the schools open'

Education Min. Director General admits 'reality is complicated, learning isn't happening at the same pace as usual.'

'Our policy is to keep the schools open'

PM calls Netanyahu 'anti-patriotic' for mocking antigen tests

Likud responds: Israelis being forced to pay for unreliable tests; Bennett has lost control of the situation.

PM calls Netanyahu 'anti-patriotic' for mocking antigen tests

Bennett: Israel world leader in protecting elderly from Omicron

PM says Israel prepared for Omicron wave despite record high infection numbers, aim is to keep economy open.

Bennett: Israel world leader in protecting elderly from Omicronplayer

Isolation for COVID patients to be reduced to 7 days

Health Min. decides to reduce isolation period from 10 days after studies find risk of spreading disease after 7 days very low.

Isolation for COVID patients to be reduced to 7 days

Teachers union head: We need to switch to remote learning

'Zoom learning is less effective - but it's the lesser evil,' teachers union chair says.

Teachers union head: We need to switch to remote learning

WHO: Omicron wave on the decline

World Health Organization says data from several countries show Omicron wave starting to wane.

WHO: Omicron wave on the decline

Pfizer CEO: Vaccine for Omicron will be ready in March

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the company is already manufacturing doses of its vaccine that targets Omicron variant.

Pfizer CEO: Vaccine for Omicron will be ready in March

New record: 30,970 new cases of COVID-19 in one day

The number of active cases stands at 169,117, including 221 who are hospitalized in serious condition.

New record: 30,970 new cases of COVID-19 in one day

Health Ministry issues new instructions for antigen tests

Samples for antigen tests should be taken from both nose and throat, Health Ministry says.

Health Ministry issues new instructions for antigen tests

Doctors who test positive for COVID-19 to continue working?

Sheba Medical Center presents plan to allow coronavirus-positive medical staff to continue working in hospitals.

Doctors who test positive for COVID-19 to continue working?

Report: Omicron represents around 90% of Israel's new coronavirus cases

Most of those hospitalized with severe COVID-19 cases contracted Delta, but the number of severe Omicron cases is rising.

Report: Omicron represents around 90% of Israel's new cases

Report: MDA used less effective tests for rapid testing

New report by Central Lab for Viruses shows MDA used test which are less effective at detecting Omicron than other tests.

Report: MDA used less effective tests for rapid testing

New COVID variant sequenced: 'Deltacron'

25 cases of new mutation discovered in Cyprus. Strain is a combination of Delta and Omicron.

New COVID variant sequenced: 'Deltacron'