Start your day here: COVID-19 cases plummet, hospitalizations rise and a new version of omicron emerges

Published January 31, 2022 at 8:25 AM EST
Joggers run past social distancing tents outside of a restaurant on the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C., on Saturday
Mandel Ngan
/
AFP via Getty Images
Joggers pass by social distancing tents outside of a restaurant on the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C., on Saturday

Good morning,

We're following these stories today:

Omicron dips: New COVID-19 cases are falling dramatically even as hospitalizations remain near pandemic highs, but a variant related to omicron may extend the tail end of the current wave.

Ukraine crisis response: U.S. allies have different responses to Russian troops at Ukraine's border. The U.K. is taking an aggressive stance; Germany is holding back.

Weekend blizzard: States throughout the Northeast are recovering from a storm that brought wind gusts of up to 99 mph and as much as 2 feet of snow.

🎧 Hear more on all three of these stories on Up First, our daily podcast.

— The Morning Edition live blog team

(Carol Ritchie, Rachel Treisman, Nell Clark and Chris Hopkins)