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Biden says U.S. will distribute 500 million COVID-19 tests, ramp up vaccinations to fight omicron variant

In Kerr County, the infections remain low with just 16 in 2 days, but those numbers may be low.

Peterson Regional Medical Center said it had five new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday — on the same day, more than 11,000 people across the state tested positive.

In two days, Peterson had 16 people test positive, 14 unvaccinated of them against COVID-19. The Texas Department of State Health Services said 8,082 people had confirmed cases of COVID-19; another 3,000 were probable for COVID-19.

There were three people hospitalized at Peterson, while more than 3,100 were hospitalized across Texas.

DSHS said there were 150 active cases of the virus in Kerr County on Tuesday, but the accuracy of that number remains questionable.

On Monday, the omicron variant of COVID-19 swept across the United States, producing an estimated 75% of all new cases. The variant has killed one unvaccinated man in Houston — believed to be the first omicron-related death in the United States.

As all of this rapidly unfolded on Monday and today, President Joe Biden said this would not be a repeat of March 2020 — when the nation shut down as COVID-19 first swept the country.

"And, no, this is not March of 2020," Biden said during a press conference. "Two hundred million people are fully vaccinated. We're prepared. We know more. We just have to stay focused. So that's where we stand."

Biden said the government would issue 500 million in-home COVID-19 testing kits. Biden said the Federal Emergency Management Agency would provide pop-up vaccination clinics, but he also issued a warning about the seriousness of the virus.

"Look, let me give it to you straight again: Omicron is serious, potentially deadly business for unvaccinated people," Biden said.


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