Flu cases on the rise after last year’s mild season
The U.S. flu season has officially begun: Hospitalizations are rising and two child deaths have been reported. The 2020-2021 flu season, the first new season since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the lowest in decades. Some major cities saw zero cases. Experts said COVID-19 prevention measures such as school closures, physical distancing, masks and canceled travel resulted in less spread of the influenza virus. But a year later, the annual wave of flu infections is back at a much stronger rate. In CDC figures released Monday, the states with high flu activity are New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota.
Deep South prepares for severe weather, tornadoes possible
While much of the nation deals with heavy snow and intense cold, severe weather is in the forecast Wednesday across portions of the Deep South: Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes are all possible, meteorologists warned. States where the severe weather is most likely include Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee and cities in the path of the storms include Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham and Atlanta. While Wednesday’s storms are expected to remain south of the hardest-hit areas, any rain or wind will be enough to hinder cleanup efforts for a time. Before the severe storms arrive, unseasonably warm air will continue in the southern Plains and Southeast, and more record highs were expected.
Tested positive for COVID-19 during the holidays?
Testing positive for COVID-19 starts a confusing, disruptive and at times frightening process – one that millions of Americans will likely go through in the coming week. First, you need to isolate. That’s a more intense version of quarantining – it means cutting off contact with other people as much as possible so you reduce the chance of infecting them. Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should monitor their symptoms. And people who are unvaccinated or at high risk for severe disease should be extra-vigilant for symptoms that might require emergency care. How long should you isolate? How long will you be contagious? Here’s what you should know about omicron and COVID-19 this holiday season.
Oklahoma and Oregon meet in Alamo Bowl
Oklahoma heads into the Alamo Bowl against Oregon with all eyes on quarterback Caleb Williams, searching for answers about his future and whether it will be with the Sooners. For now, the fact that he will play Wednesday night against the No. 15 Ducks (10-3) is certainly as good a sign as any for No. 14 Oklahoma (10-2).Williams has been mum on his plans since the sudden departure of coach Lincoln Riley for Southern California. But he has made no known moves, either, even with quarterbacks elsewhere hitting the transfer portal and some of his teammates already on the way out. The game airs on ESPN at 9:15 p.m. ET.
Is today your lucky day?
There was no Powerball jackpot match on Tuesday, but three winners were drawn: two winning Match 5 + Power Play tickets worth $2 million each sold in Florida and New Jersey, and a winning Match 5 ticket worth $1 million, also sold in Florida. The Powerball jackpot grew to an estimated $441 million with a cash option of $317.5 million for Wednesday’s drawing. The last Powerball jackpot winner won $699.8 million in October. Since then, there have been 36 consecutive drawings without a jackpot winner. Three winners in California, Florida and Tennessee hit the biggest Powerball jackpot ever in January 2016 at a whopping $1.586 billion.
Contributing: The Associated Press