Omicron reaches Hawaii

The omicron variant of the novel coronavirus has been found in Hawaii, the state Department of Health confirmed Thursday.

US reports 1st case of omicron variant in returning traveler

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of the omicron variant Wednesday — in a vaccinated traveler who returned to California after a trip to South Africa — as scientists around the world race to establish whether the new, mutant version of the coronavirus is more dangerous than previous ones.

White House plans to tighten travel rules over omicron threat

The Biden administration plans to tighten travel rules to combat the omicron variant of the coronavirus, by requiring all air travelers to the U.S. to be tested within a day of their departure regardless of vaccination status, according to a person familiar with the matter.

US panel backs first-of-a-kind COVID-19 pill from Merck

WASHINGTON — A panel of U.S. health advisers on Tuesday narrowly backed a closely watched COVID-19 pill from Merck, setting the stage for a likely authorization of the first drug that Americans could take at home to treat the coronavirus.

Brazil and Japan report first cases of the omicron variant

Brazil and Japan joined the rapidly widening circle of countries to report cases of the omicron variant Tuesday, while new findings indicate the mutant coronavirus was already in Europe close to a week before South Africa sounded the alarm.

Biden vaccine rule for health workers blocked in 10 states

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A federal judge on Monday blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement.

More omicron cases pop up as world rushes to learn more

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in countries on opposite sides of the world Sunday and many governments rushed to close their borders even as scientists cautioned that it’s not clear if the new variant is more alarming than other versions of the virus.