PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A jump in COVID-19 cases is moving some University of Pennsylvania final exams online. The school says any exams scheduled for Friday will be in-person but any finals scheduled for next week will be remote.

This comes as the United States is seeing a surge in COVID-19. Hospitals are already stretched thin because of the Delta variant and are now bracing for more cases from the Omicron variant.

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At least 36 states have confirmed cases of the Omicron.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia health officials urge residents to avoid holiday gatherings. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole says holiday parties are a bad idea.

“Please do not hold or attend holiday parties indoors. It’s just too dangerous,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said.

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It’s not the kind of holiday message the health commissioner wanted to give but Dr. Bettigole says COVID is again playing grinch.

“It’s hard and it feels impossible and it feels unfair,” she said.

COVID cases in Philadelphia have doubled in the past few weeks. There are now an average of 544 new cases a day.

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Most are from the delta variant but there are now three confirmed cases of the more contagious omicron variant and more are expected.