Worst of omicron coming for Midwest & 7 more COVID-19 updates 

Eight COVID-19 updates from the last week:

1. Days after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments, the fate of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers and vaccinate-or-test rule for workers at larger businesses remained undecided the morning of Jan. 13.

2. Some East Coast states may see new omicron cases peak this week, but the Midwest is still facing the thick of a surge, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said Jan. 9. 

3. The U.S. plans to ship 1 billion rapid at-home test kits to Americans, President Joe Biden said during a Jan. 13 update of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts. 

4. The California Department of Public Health temporarily revised its guidelines to allow asymptomatic healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19 to return to work immediately without isolation or testing.

5. COVID-19 hospitalizations have surpassed levels seen during last winter's surge and are now at an all-time high, HHS data shows.

6. New findings about omicron's spread and severity are emerging daily, with recent research pointing to a higher rate of asymptomatic spread and lower hospitalization risk.

7. The CDC does not plan on updating its COVID-19 mask guidance to recommend that people wear higher-quality masks over cloth ones.

8. Early research suggests that the diagnostic tests most commonly used in the U.S. may not be the most effective at detecting the omicron coronavirus variant. 

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