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Why is the omicron variant throwing the sports world for a loop?

A surge in cases is hitting all the big professional sports leagues.

HOUSTON — Professional sports in the United States have been hit hard by COVID-19 in recent days with all the major leagues affected.

Dozens of players have been sidelined, teams have been forced to shut down facilities and games canceled. It comes as the World Health Organization is warning that the new omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate.

NFL cases spike, booster requirements

The NFL did pretty well with COVID when this season started, but that’s not the case anymore.

On Monday, the League reported 37 cases in a single day, including wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. This is even though 94% of players being vaccinated and nearly a hundred percent of personnel. Now the NFL says it will require boosters for its tier one and tier employees before the end of the year.

NBA cancelations

The NBA is having a tough time, too.

Players are missing games and practices are getting cancelled along with games. The League reports 97% of its players and support staff are vaccinated and more than 60% have been boosted. It has changed the definition of fully vaccinated to include the booster shot.

NHL, Olympics concerns

Several NHL teams have also reported a surge in COVID, and now that is raising questions about the winter Olympics. The head of USA Hockey says they need more information from Beijing before moving forward.

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