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5 things you need to know - Monday, December 27

COVID-19 omicron South Africa
Posted at 7:05 AM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 10:33:31-05

SOUTHERN COLORADO — Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Monday, December 27.

If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.
Case numbers from omicron variant pass those of delta strain, but fewer hospitalizations so far

According to Johns Hopkins University data, the rate of daily Covid-19 cases in the United States from the omicron variant surge has surpassed the numbers seen with the delta strain this summer.

However, the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations are lower than the peaks reached earlier this year. Health and government officials say that could change.
Thousands of flights canceled worldwide due to COVID related staffing shortages

More than 6,000 flights were canceled world wide over the 3 day Christmas weekend as the omicron surge drove airline staffing shortages.

Right now, there are about 5,000 flight delays worldwide, and 2,200 cancelled. The number of flights delayed in, out of, or within the U.S. is much smaller, at about 950, of which about 760 are canceled.
Winter maintenance closes I-70 at Vail Pass today

I-70 will be closed at 9 A.M. for about an hour to allow the Colorado Department of Transportation to perform avalanche mitigation.

Eastbound lanes will be closed at exit 176, and Westbound lanes will be closed at exit 195. There will be a commercial motor vehicle closure at exit 180.
Cause of fire identified at Blodgett Peak

Some good news now about the Blodgett Peak fire. The pre-evacuation warning for residents in Peregrine was lifted.

The fire is 50% contained and remains at about three quarters of an acre in size.

Investigators now believe the fire was caused by an illegal abandoned campfire. Anybody with information about how the fire started is asked to contact the forest service or the city fire department.
Cold and windy as we start the last week of 2021
Get your latest First Alert 5 Weather forecast

This is the final week of 2021, and it'll finally start to feel more like winter!

Slick and slow drives should be expected for anyone going west of I-25 or Highway 160 from snow overnight through this morning.

Most of southern Colorado will stay dry, windy, and cold today with gusts from the mountains to the plains in the 20 to 40 mph range. We'll stay windiest in the mountains and valleys today but gusts along I-25 could still hit 30 mph at times.

There are no Red Flag Warnings at this time, but fire danger will remain elevated, and we'll keep an eye on the Blodgett Peak Fire for any growth.

Overnight snow showers will be possible over Teller County and Pikes Peak but little to no snow accumulation is expected in areas like Cripple Creek or Woodland Park.

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