With COVID cases growing, people around the world are fighting back

A recent sharp surge in coronavirus infections in Spain gave no signs of abating Tuesday with nearly 100,000 cases reported in the previous 24 hours, a new all-time pandemic high.

The state of Georgia is setting new records for the number of test-confirmed COVID-19 cases. An extremely rapid rise in cases pushed totals on Tuesday beyond peaks previously set in January. The state recorded nearly 14,000 positive tests in its report released Tuesday, a combination of molecular PCR tests and rapid antigen tests.

The Washington state Department of Health has reported a new record number of cases tallied in a single day. The Seattle Times reports state officials confirmed 6,235 new cases on Dec. 24. The state’s previous single-day record number of cases was 5,526 cases on Dec. 7, 2020.

The University of Hawaii will conduct mostly online classes for the first two weeks of the spring semester, and Emory University’s president said Tuesday the school is switching to virtual classes to start the spring semester because of a national surge in COVID cases fueled by the omicron variant.

Thousands of flights canceled. Back-to-the-office plans shelved. College football bowl games and Broadway shows called off. Shuttered Apple stores in New York City.

Covid is once again causing mayhem in the economy.

The disruption is different this time, though. Vaccines and boosters are widely available, symptoms from Omicron appear to be milder than with prior variants, and government officials are vowing not to mandate a shutdown of the economy.

<p>Healthcare workers put on PPE on the Covid-19 ICU floor of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.</p>

Allison Dinner/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Healthcare workers put on PPE on the Covid-19 ICU floor of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.

Yet the staggering speed with which Omicron is spreading — and the shortage of available tests — is nonetheless causing serious problems for Covid-weary families and businesses.

“This is definitely a setback for the recovery,” Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, told CNN in a phone interview.