PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Wintry weather combined with the pandemic to frustrate air travelers whose return flights home from the holidays were canceled or delayed in the first days of the new year.
By early afternoon Sunday on the East Coast, more than 2,300 U.S. flights and more than 3,900 worldwide had been canceled, according to tracking service FlightAware.
That followed Saturday’s mass cancelations of more than 2,700 U.S. flights, and more than 4,700 worldwide. Saturday’s single-day U.S. toll was the highest since just before Christmas, when airlines began blaming staffing shortages on increasing COVID-19 infections among crews.
A winter storm that hit the Midwest on Saturday made Chicago the worst place in the country for travelers throughout the weekend as the region’s airports continued to recover Sunday morning. About a quarter of all flights at O’Hare Airport were canceled Sunday.
American Airlines said most of Sunday’s canceled flights had been canceled ahead of time to avoid last-minute disruptions at the airport.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:
— Fauci says CDC may add test requirement for infected people ending isolation
— No end in sight for widespread flight cancelations due to US storms, pandemic
— UK makes contingency plans in case omicron leads to big staff shortages in hospitals, schools
— National Basketball Association calls up minor league referees to keep games going
— Dozens of US colleges and universities adapt to virus surge by returning to online classes
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:
WASHINGTON — As the omicron variant surges across the United States, top federal health officials are looking to add a negative test along with its five-day isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans who catch the coronavirus, the White House’s top medical adviser said Sunday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now considering including the negative test as part of its guidance after getting significant “pushback” on its updated recommendations last week.
Under that Dec. 27 guidance, isolation restrictions for people infected with COVID-19 were shortened from 10 days to five days if they are no longer feeling symptoms or running a fever. After that period, they are asked to spend the following five days wearing a mask when around others.
The guidelines have since received criticism from many health professionals for not specifying a negative antigen test as a requirement for leaving isolation.
“There has been some concern about why we don’t ask people at that five-day period to get tested,” Fauci said. “Looking at it again, there may be an option in that, that testing could be a part of that. And I think we’re going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC.”
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minster Naftali Bennett says authorities have decided to expand the country’s second booster campaign to people over the age of 60 as it copes with the omicron variant.
Israel last week approved the booster for a…