COVID: Rise and fall of Omicron across the country

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – The United States appears to be turning the corner on the new Omicron variant. But on the ground, the battle against Omicron looks very different state-by-state.

Is the Omicron wave waning, or cresting? The answer depends on where you live.

Dean of Brown University School of Public Health Dr. Ashish K. Jha said, “Nationally we have peaked. I think infections are going to start coming down.”

Right now, 14 states — across mostly the Eastern seaboard — are seeing a case drop by at least 10% compared to last week. But 26 other states saw cases go up by at least the same amount.

Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “This pandemic is nowhere near over, and with the incredible growth of Omicron globally, new variants are likely to emerge.”

Health experts predict most states will be past the Omicron peak by mid-February. In those harder-hit states, there’s no rest in the high-stakes battle against Omicron — even in the classroom.

New Mexico’s governor is set to become a substitute teacher, launching a licensing program to help with the severe staffing shortage.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said, “I expect that, by the weekend, I will be clear, and I will be available to support a school.”

To its east, police officers subbed in for elementary school teachers in Oklahoma.

Members of Wisconsin’s National Guard are becoming “certified nursing assistants” to help support busy hospitals and nursing homes.

Wisconsin National Guard Seargent Andrew Hemaidan said, “It takes a team to fix a helicopter, it takes a team to keep the hospitals running.”

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