Thousands of Americans will first test themselves for COVID-19 without a doctor, lab or any medical oversight. While quick home tests are hailed as a major convenience and a smart way to protect loved ones, they’ve raised a significant challenge for public health officials. How can agencies comprehensively track cases and trends when many consumers don't report home test results?

Public health officials say reporting cases is critical for spotting trends and detecting surges. But it's unclear how often customers report results from the dozen authorized home coronavirus tests. The tests typically deliver results in 15 minutes outside a lab or doctor’s office, officials say.

Massachusetts hospitals will have to cut back on non-urgent scheduled procedures. The number of air travelers this week is expected to approach or even exceed pre-pandemic levels. AAA predicts48.3 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday period.

France has launched a plan Thursday to give COVID-19 booster shots to all adults. A MercyOne spokesperson said there are no significant health risks associated with the larger dose, just a likelihood the children will have more severe versions of the common vaccine side effects. More than 259 million cases and 5.1 million deaths have been recorded worldwide.
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