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The 7 things you need to know for Tuesday, Dec. 28 – The Washington Post

The U.S. shortened its coronavirus isolation guidelines.

  • People who test positive but have no symptoms need to isolate for only five days, instead of 10, the CDC said.
  • Other changes: People who are vaccinated but not boosted need to quarantine for only five days, if exposed, and those who are boosted don’t need to quarantine at all (but should wear a mask for 10 days).
  • Why the updates? They’re tied to new research about when people are most infectious, the CDC said, and come as cases of the omicron variant surge.

Airlines canceled more than 1,200 flights yesterday.

  • Why? Continued staffing shortages because of coronavirus infections, as well as pockets of bad weather.
  • What this means for the rest of the week: Cases are still spiking, so more cancellations seem likely; however, the new shortened isolation period could help improve things.
  • In other travel news: The nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony Fauci, said the U.S. should consider a vaccine requirement for domestic flights.

L.A. police released video of a shooting that killed a 14-year-old girl.

  • What happened: An officer killed Valentina Orellana-Peralta in a department store while targeting a man attacking shoppers, who also died, police said.
  • The officer fired three shots, at least one of them hitting Valentina in a dressing room, the footage showed.
  • What’s next: A review of the shooting. The officer has been placed on paid leave until it’s complete.

Nursing home staff shortages have started affecting hospitals.

  • The problem: More than half of U.S. nursing homes are limiting admissions after losing 425,000 workers during the pandemic. That means some recovered patients have no choice but to stay at hospitals, using much-needed beds.
  • Several states have sent National Guard members to help with caregiving and other chores as cases of the omicron variant fill up hospitals.

The Jan. 6 committee will begin public hearings next year.

  • Why? The House panel investigating the attack on the Capitol plans to share what it has learned.
  • The committee has interviewed over 300 witnesses, issued more than 50 subpoenas and collected over 35,000 pages of records.
  • When will the hearings start? Sometime this winter, but details are still being worked out.

Holiday shopping boomed in the U.S. this year.

  • The numbers: Online sales jumped 11% and in-store sales went up by 8.1% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, compared with last year. It’s the highest annual gain in 17 years.
  • What this shows: Supply chain concerns didn’t slow shoppers, but the omicron surge may have fueled online sales.

Another time capsule was found under the Lee monument in Richmond.

  • Why this is exciting: It matches descriptions of an official capsule buried in 1887 under the Confederate monument removed earlier this year, unlike a box opened last week.
  • The bad news: It was found sitting in water, though X-rays show some items inside are still intact. The box will be opened this afternoon.

And now … something that’s always worth a look: The year in photos, plus the stories behind them.

John Taylor and Mina Haq for contributing to today’s briefing.

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