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This Is a Time to Be Careful

Protect your family, and others – no infection is safe. Get vaccinated if you can. Get boosted if you can. Use the best mask you can – although any mask is far better than no mask at all. Avoid contact with others, especially in closed or poorly ventilated spaces. If you have been in contact with others in the past two weeks, get a test if you feel symptoms of any kind and isolate until you have the results. An Omicron carrier can infect many people – do not let the virus use you to infect others.


How to have a safe Christmas: the ultimate checklist (English) – Infographic (WHN)





South Korea reverses plan to “live with COVID-19,” reimposes restrictions across the country to stem spread of the virus.

1,000 critically ill patients a day in South Korea (Korea Herald)

Growing from less than 1% to 13% to 70% in just two weeks, CDC reports more than 70% Omicron prevalence in U.S. (CDC)

“…everyone felt safe because they had all been completely vaccinated and presented negative PCR or rapid antigen tests upon arrival…The Christmas party in Oslo turned into a superspreader event…” 

The Omicron Wave Hits Europe (Der Spiegel)

Netherlands locks down, closing all non-essential business following expert advice from the Outbreak Management Team 

OMT advises hard lockdown measures (NOS) 

Government scientific advisory group advises UK to adopt immediate “very stringent measures” to control Omicron, hospitalizations could peak at 3,000-10,000 per day

Consensus Statement on COVID-19 (SPI-M-O / SAGE)

Federal Scientific Task Force advises Germany take decisive political action to stop Omicron advance, urges clear and concise public communication

Einordnung und Konsequenzen der Omikronwelle (Expertenrates der Bundesregierung zu COVID-19)

Over 80% of the first 785 Omicron variant cases in Denmark were vaccinated or boosted (Eurosurveillance)

Household transmission from Omicron is 2.9X Delta, attack rate in household contacts is 1.5X Delta, and in non-household contacts 3X Delta, risk of reinfection with Omicron is 3X vs. other variants.

17 December UK Health Security Agency Technical Briefing 32 (UK Health Security Agency)

Germany bans travelers from UK and Ireland, citing Omicron concerns (WSJ)


Waiting one day to adopt NPIs found to increase deaths by 11%; Spanish lockdown twice as effective as Californian Shelter in Place Order 

Early adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions and COVID-19 mortality (Economics & Human Biology)

Waiting one week to adopt NPIs found to triple infections

The impact of policy timing on the spread of COVID-19 (Infectious Disease Modelling) 

Among groups living in vulnerable conditions, the pandemic substantially magnified inequality gaps 

Safeguarding people living in vulnerable conditions in the COVID-19 era through universal health coverage and social protection (The Lancet) 

Aggressive (Level 4) NPIs were associated with slower COVID-19 propagation, particularly in high compliance counties; Pandemic strategies best designed at community-level

Heterogeneity in the Effectiveness of Non-pharmaceutical Interventions During the First SARS-CoV2 Wave in the United States (Front. Public Health)

Data: Tracking non-pharmaceutical interventions in Europe Covid-19 pandemic policy monitor (Data In Brief)


Economic health and public health are inseparable, and must be advanced together

From Economic Recovery to Health Resilience (JAMA)

The virus itself is responsible for the majority of the economic damage, rather than control measures 

Social distancing laws cause only small losses of economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scandinavia (PNAS) 

Economic losses caused by increased infections and deaths outweigh economic benefits of lenient infection control  

Are less aggressive national lockdowns in COVID-19 associated with enhanced economic activity? (QJM)

Supply-chain dependencies point to need for regional and international policy coordination to reduce economic losses Do economic effects of the anti-COVID-19 lockdowns in different regions interact through supply chains? (PLoS ONE)


Mass testing is a powerful tool to rapidly reduce incidence of COVID-19 

and Unnecessary obstacles to mass testing (The Lancet)

Pre Omicron recommendations: Policy Recommendations to Identify and Manage Current and Future Variants of Concern 

Staying Ahead of the Variants (JHU Center for Health Security) 
FDA has identified 3 COVID-19 tests that fail to detect the omicron variant (Med Tech Dive)

In Community,

-The WHN