The Wider World

Isolation, quarantine rules eased

QUARANTINE and isolation rules may be relaxed (Shutterstock/Mongkolchan).

Isolation and quarantine rules for those who test positive for coronavirus or have had close contact with someone who has may be changing.

According to the Associated Press, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued a guidance that recommend cutting the time from 10 to five days for those people.

New data is indicating that people with COVID-19 are most contagious in the two days before and three days after patients develop symptoms.

The change would also ease the strain on medical health facilities as the Omicron variant threatens to strain their resources, as well as impact the availability of employees in other crucial fields.

Biden signs $770B defense bill

THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT is headquartered in The Pentagon (Wikipedia).

The Pentagon got a Christmas present on Monday when President Joe Biden signed a defense appropriation bill worth almost $770 billion.

According to The New York Times, that’s about $24 billion more than the president had requested.

Among the highlights of the bill are a 2.7 percent pay increase for most military service members, as well as money to support Ukraine, deter China’s expansion moves in the South China Sea and funding for more advanced weaponry.

The bill also makes changes in how the military branches handle sexual assault and harassment investigations.

Sports: NHL returns on Tuesday

The National Hockey League, shook up and tumbled because of the impact of the latest coronavirus surge, will return to action on Tuesday after a six-day hiatus sparked largely by the impact of COVID-19 protocols.

One bit of relief could be coming in the form of new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control that is now recommending that isolation periods for those testing positive be reduced from 10 to five days (see story above).

The Anaheim Ducks are scheduled to host the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday at Honda Center.

In other coronavirus-related sports news, Boise State’s football program has pulled out of the Arizona Bowl game scheduled for this Friday (Dec. 31) because of COVID-19 issues. According to The Associated Press, Washington State is a possible replacement to play Central Michigan.

Weather: Rain may go away … briefly

Today’s rains in the West Orange County area are expected to leave us for partly cloudy skies on Tuesday with a daytime high of 57 (overnight low of 46). But that should give way to rain and showers on Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the mid 50s to low 60s. The sun, however, is expected to return on Saturday.

Finance: A jolly stock rally

What’s being called the “Santa Claus Rally” – the final week of stock trading for 2021 – was off to a big start on Monday with big jumps on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 rose 65.40 points to a record 4,791.19. The Dow was up 351.82 points to 36,302.38 and the Nasdaq closed up 217.89 points to 15,871.26.


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