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President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the government will double to 1 billion the rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests to be distributed free to Americans, along with the most protective N95 masks, as he highlighted his efforts to “surge” resources to help the country weather the spike in coronavirus cases.

As the COVID-19 omicron variant surges across the United States, top federal health officials are looking to add a negative test along with its five-day isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans who catch the coronavirus, the White House’s top medical adviser said Sunday.

People who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appeared to have just 33% protection against infection, compared to those who were unvaccinated, during South Africa's current omicron-fueled wave, but 70% protection against hospitalization, according to an analysis conducted by Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest private health insurer, and the South African Medical Research Council.

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Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and other CN officials signed legislation on Dec. 15 to invest $440 million in health care capital improvement projects that includes a new hospital in Tahlequah and a new outpatient clinic in Salina.