The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant

By Fernando Alfonso III and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 3:45 p.m. ET, January 22, 2022
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2:50 p.m. ET, January 22, 2022

New Mexico state employees — including the governor — to sub in classrooms amid staffing shortages

School buses sit in a lot in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on January 14.
School buses sit in a lot in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on January 14. (Nathan J Fish/Sun-News/USA Today Network)

A new program in New Mexico is streamlining the process to allow state workers and National Guard members to work as substitute teachers and aides as staffing shortages caused by the Omicron variant continue — and that includes Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The governor said that the state has been "woefully short" on educators, so she and others are stepping in.

"States and governments have had to turn on a dime during the pandemic to stand up systems, to provide support to any of our critical, crucial, basic services. There aren't any other options," she said in a CNN interview.

She thinks she'll be placed in an elementary school next week.

The governor said that those participating in the program must go through a background check and safety course beforehand.

"I'm feeling very good about this effort, and the goal is to keep schools open and to support educators, parents and students through the worst of Omicron," she said.

So far, there are 50 National Guard members and 50 state employees taking part, and schools decide where they are placed in classrooms.

"The whole goal is certainly not to interrupt the qualified experienced work that is required in our public schools — but just to shore them up to stay open. And I hope maybe that it'll stay as we develop a pipeline. The whole point here is to really support ... hospitals, health care workers, child care workers and schools," Grisham said.

8:26 a.m. ET, January 22, 2022

Beijing 2022 says no foreign athletes have tested positive yet for Covid-19 after arrival

No foreign athletes that have arrived in Beijing for the Winter Olympic Games have tested positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, according to Beijing 2022's media team.

"If any athlete tests positive for Covid-19, he/she will be reported and managed according to relevant requirements," the media team told CNN Saturday.

The team did not say whether any other Olympic personnel outside of athletes had tested positive. CNN has requested this information but has not heard back.

As of Friday: More than 2,000 participants have arrived in Beijing, including athletes, officials, members of the IOC and media, according to the official app for the Beijing Winter Games.

To limit the spread of infection, Beijing is sealing the entire Games inside what authorities have called a "closed loop system" — a bubble completely cut off from the rest of the city. Thousands of Chinese volunteers and staff have already spent days, if not weeks, inside the closed-loop.

The trial run of the closed-loop system started on Jan. 4, according to Beijing 2022. The Olympic Games are set to officially begin on Feb. 4.

8:24 a.m. ET, January 22, 2022

Fauci on timeline for Covid-19 vaccine for kids under 5: "We just don't know"

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on January 11, in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on January 11, in Washington, DC. (Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci clarified his remarks about the timeline for a Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5, saying, “we just don’t know.”

"We do know that the data are being collected by the companies who will submit it to the FDA and the FDA will make a judgment based on the safety and efficacy," Fauci told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Friday evening. "When I said it could be within a month or two or three we really don't know and I think when people push you, give an estimate of what you think. I hope in the next few months but I don't know for sure, Wolf."

Fauci said he is not privy to the information that companies will submit to the FDA for emergency use authorization.

"I can't give you a month, whether it's February or March, April or whenever," Fauci added. "We just don't know and that's just the reality."