By PHILIP MARCELO, ANNE D’INNOCENZIO and BOBBY CAINA CALVAN
BOSTON (AP) — The surge in coronavirus cases driven by the new omicron variant is the latest blow to hospitals, police departments, supermarkets and other critical operations struggling to maintain staffing levels. COVID-19 absences among workers at London hospitals tripled this month, and nearly 10% of the city’s firefighters were out sick. In New York, about twice as many police officers took sick time this week than normal. Countries such as Spain have eased quarantine rules to allow more people to continue working. Some U.S. states have called in the National Guard to help boost short-handed hospitals.