Omicron Variant Finds New Population To Exploit: Children

·6 min read
Soledad Peralta, mother of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, cries at a news conference outside Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters. Orellana-Peralta was killed by a stray bullet fired by an LAPD officer at a North Hollywood clothing store. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Soledad Peralta, mother of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, cries at a news conference outside Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters. Orellana-Peralta was killed by a stray bullet fired by an LAPD officer at a North Hollywood clothing store. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

ACROSS AMERICA — Good morning! It’s Wednesday, Dec. 29. The omicron coronavirus variant is now targeting the nation's estimated 5 million eligible but unvaccinated children. Read on to learn more and catch up on the other headlines we’re following today:

  • Police release footage of the shooting that killed 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta in Los Angeles.

  • Five people are dead after a string of shootings in Colorado.

  • She became a vaccine celebrity by accident. Now, she’s the face of a prominent nationwide campaign.

  • Enjoy breathtaking sunrise-to-sunset coastline views in this $5.8 million Westhampton Beach, New York, home for sale.

The omicron coronavirus variant has spurred a 35 percent increase nationwide in pediatric hospitalizations over the past week, according to newly released federal health data.

Two dozen states and New York City reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an increase in pediatric hospitalizations — that is, children 17 and younger — as the virus surges nationwide.

The 199,000 pediatric COVID-19 cases reported nationwide for the week ending Dec. 23 represent a 50 percent increase in positive cases for that age group since the beginning of December.

"It's almost like you can see the train coming down the track and you're just hoping it doesn't go off the rails," Dr. Claudia Hoyen, director of pediatric infection control at UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, told CNN. "It's going to be a very interesting couple of weeks. »COVID Hospitalizations Among Children Up Nationwide, via Across America Patch

Footage Shows LA Store Shooting

As the community mourns the death of a 14-year-old girl struck down by a stray police bullet while shopping for her quinceanera dress at a North Hollywood Burlington Coat Factory, the Los Angeles Police Department released bodycam footage from the incident.

Community activists called for criminal prosecution of the unnamed officer, who was placed on administrative leave following the store shooting that took the life of Valentina Orellana-Peralta as well as assault suspect Daniel Elena Lopez, 24. » LAPD Body-Cam Footage Shows Department Store Shooting, via North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch

Michigan Shooter’s Parents ‘Ignored Signs’

Prosecutors said the parents of accused Oxford school shooter Ethan Crumbley knew he was troubled and depressed but ignored his troubling signs, which included drawings, text messages and a baby bird's head in a jar, according to a court filing.

Prosecutors revealed the allegations in Thursday's court filing to strongly oppose a lower bond request from James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley, the 15-year-old's parents, who were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. » Parents Ignored Crumbley's 'Disturbing' Signs: Prosecutors, via Rochester-Rochester Hills, Michigan, Patch

Colorado Shooting Spree Kills 6

Investigators identified the man who shot four people to death Monday in the Denver area, police said in a news conference Tuesday. Another person who was wounded in the shooting died Tuesday, raising the death count to five, authorities said.

Lyndon McLeod, 47, went on the shooting spree in Denver and Lakewood before he was killed by police at the Belmar shopping center, investigators said. Several people were injured in the shootings, according to police. »Gunman In Denver Area Shooting Spree Identified: Police, via Lakewood Patch

Quarantine/Isolation Times Cut In Half: CDC

Federal health officials on Monday shortened by half the number of days people infected with COVID-19 from the omicron coronavirus variant should isolate, a decision they said was backed by research showing how the virus is adapting. »CDC Cuts COVID-19 Quarantine Time By Half In Updated Guidance, via Across America Patch

Judge Won’t Dismiss Proud Boys Charges

A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss an indictment charging four alleged leaders of the far-right Proud Boys with conspiring to attack the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's electoral victory. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected defense attorneys' arguments that the four men are charged with conduct that is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. »Judge Refuses To Dismiss Alleged Proud Boys Leaders' Charges, via Across America Patch

More national headlines on Patch, other news websites:

Around ‘The Patch’

Conservators on Tuesday opened what they believe is the official time capsule that was placed inside the pedestal for the Robert E. Lee statue in 1887, via Richmond, Virginia, Patch

Across western Washington and Oregon, officials and private groups are opening emergency spaces for people to find refuge as forecasters said the extreme cold from an arctic blast could last until the weekend, via Seattle Patch

A missing dog reunited with her family on Christmas Day thanks to the quick work of a Massachusetts state trooper, via Plymouth, Massachusetts, Patch

Thanks to the quick work from a Massachusetts state trooper, a dog was able to reunite with her family on Christmas Day. (Massachusetts State Police)
Thanks to the quick work from a Massachusetts state trooper, a dog was able to reunite with her family on Christmas Day. (Massachusetts State Police)

More local news:

House Hunting

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This Day In History

The annexation of the Republic of Texas by the United States, approved by Congress this day in 1845, sparked the Mexican War because land between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River was disputed territory.

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This article originally appeared on the Across America Patch

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