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5 Things To Know On Tuesday, December 21, 2021

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Posted at 7:27 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 07:27:45-05

While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!

1. Omicron sweeps across nation, now 73% of US COVID-19 cases
Federal health officials said Monday that omicron accounted for an estimated 73% of new infections last week, nearly a six-fold increase in the proportion of infections in only one week

Moderna said Monday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine should offer protection against the rapidly spreading omicron variant.

Moderna said lab tests showed the booster shots now being used — half the original dose — increased by 37 times the level of antibodies able to fight omicron.

Omicron sweeps across nation, now 73% of US COVID-19 cases

2. COVID-19 cases skyrocket 119% in Florida since Dec. 3
The number of new COVID-19 cases across the state has more than doubled since the beginning of the month.

In the last week, Florida's numbers have doubled by the thousands every 36 hours.

Florida's infection rate is now back up above the 5 percent needed to flatten the curve while highly contagious variants drive community spread.

Florida COVID-19 cases surge since start of December

3. Former President Trump reveals he got COVID-19 booster shot
Former President Donald Trump revealed he received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, drawing boos from a crowd in Dallas.

Trump made the disclosure Sunday night during the final stop of "The History Tour," a live interview show he has been doing with former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.

Before the booing, Trump told the audience that they should "take credit" for the success of the vaccines developed while he was in office.

Donald Trump
FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington before boarding Marine One. Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet were set to lapse at midnight Saturday night unless Trump signed an end-of-year COVID relief and spending bill that had been considered a done deal before his sudden objections. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

4. NHL to shut down from Wednesday through Saturday
The National Hockey League announced Monday that it is shutting down teams from Wednesday through Saturday amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

This comes after the league announced five additional games scheduled for Thursday were postponed, which makes a total of 49 games suspended this season.

The National Hockey League announced Sunday that it was suspending cross-border games through Christmas break, citing concern about "the fluid nature of federal travel restrictions" due to the spread of the omicron and delta variants.

Florida Panthers left wing Ryan Lomberg celebrates with center Noel Acciari after game-winning goal in OT vs. Florida Panthers in playoffs, May 20, 2021
Florida Panthers left wing Ryan Lomberg (94) celebrates after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning with center Noel Acciari (55) during overtime in Game 3 of a Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.

5. Ghislaine Maxwell jury begins deliberations
Jurors deliberated for less than an hour Monday at Ghislaine Maxwell's federal trial after the prosecution and defense presented closing arguments that focused on her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to six federal counts, including sex trafficking of minors, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy. 

Maxwell faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on sex trafficking and perjury charges.

Ghislaine Maxwell jury begins deliberations

Today's Forecast
Strong to severe storms possible Tuesday followed by cold front

Latest Weather Forecast: Tuesday 5 a.m.

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On This Day In History
On December 21, 1971, the United Arab Emirates is formed. The union of six small Gulf kingdoms—to which a seventh was soon added—created a small state with an large role in the global economy.

Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m. And you can always watch the latest news from WPTV anytime on your favorite streaming device. Just search for "WPTV."