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COVID-19 live updates: WHO DG recommends canceling or delaying holiday events

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(NEW YORK) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.3 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 807,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 61.5% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Latest headlines:
-Northeast sees highest number of pediatric cases of entire pandemic
-WHO DG recommends canceling or delaying holiday events
-US daily cases have nearly doubled since October
-Dr. Jha on omicron surge, holiday travel, his prediction for next year

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern.

Dec 20, 4:16 pm
London cancels New Year's Eve celebration in Trafalgar Square

London has canceled its New Year's Eve celebration for 6,500 people in Trafalgar Square due to the omicron surge, Mayor Sadiq Khan said Monday.

“With infections of COVID-19 at record levels across our city and the U.K., I’m determined to work closely with partners in our city to do everything we possibly can to slow the spread of the new variant and ensure our NHS services are not overwhelmed this winter," Khan said in a statement.

Khan declared a major incident in London on Saturday due to a rise in cases and a 29% increase in hospital admissions in the last week.

ABC News' Christine Theodorou

Dec 20, 4:00 pm
New York state breaks another case record

New York state broke its daily case record again on Sunday with an additional 23,391 positive cases, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

But the governor said she’s encouraged by reports of omicron waves spiking and receding fairly quickly in other countries.

“In terms of people’s own personal anxiety about it, just know that it’s very likely to be minor symptoms if you’re vaccinated and boosted," she said.

ABC News' Matt Foster

Dec 20, 3:45 pm
Northeast sees highest number of pediatric cases of entire pandemic

Nearly 170,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 last week, a roughly 28% jump in two weeks, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association released on Monday.

The Northeast saw its highest number of pediatric cases of the entire pandemic last week, with nearly 50,000 new cases.

On average, nearly 200 American children are being admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 each day, according to federal data.

Twenty-one million children ages 5 to 17 -- about 40% of that population -- have received at least one vaccine dose.

Severe illness due to COVID-19 remains "uncommon" among children, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said. However, the organizations continue to warn that there is an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term consequences of the pandemic on children, "including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects."

ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

Dec 20, 3:04 pm
University of Chicago to require boosters

The University of Chicago said students and employees must get a booster shot and have until the end of January to give proof or get an exemption.

The university hopes to fully return to in-person classes on Jan. 3.

Other universities like New York University and Notre Dame are also requiring boosters.

ABC News' Oren Oppenheim

 

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