Feb. 26, 2021 — After a number of weeks of declining, COVID-19 numbers are again on the rise and new variants proceed to emerge, in keeping with White Home officers — simply as states start to raise restrictions and open doorways to eating places and companies.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, reported throughout a Friday COVID-19 briefing that coronavirus circumstances and deaths have elevated over the previous few days. On Monday, she reported a 7-day common of 66,000 circumstances and 1,900 deaths per day. These numbers elevated over 4 days to 66,350 and a pair of,000, respectively.
“The newest knowledge counsel these declines could also be stalling, probably leveling off at a really excessive quantity,” Walensky mentioned. “We at CDC contemplate this a really regarding shift within the trajectory.”
She famous that though the numbers have been steadily reducing for five weeks, the decline adopted the very best peak of the pandemic that occurred after the vacation season.
In the meantime, states are shifting towards extra lax security measures.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker introduced Thursday the state would advance to the subsequent section of reopening subsequent month, with indoor capability limits for eating places lifting subsequent week.
In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper nixed the state’s nightly curfew and elevated allowable capability. Governors in states together with Mississippi and Texas are considering lifting masks mandates.
“Given the tendencies we have seen within the final couple of days, we won’t be in a spot the place we’re lifting restrictions proper now,” Walensky mentioned.
On prime of rising numbers, there are new variants at play, mentioned Anthony Fauci, MD, the White Home COVID-19 Response Workforce’s chief medical adviser. Just lately found strains in California and New York have been added to a rising record of probably stronger, extra contagious variants.
The pressure first recognized within the U.Okay. now accounts for 10% of COVID-19 circumstances in the US, he mentioned.
“It’s rising in its prevalence now, and by the top of March, it is perhaps the overwhelming pressure that’s spreading,” Fauci mentioned.
He added that Moderna will begin scientific trials for a booster shot that may shield towards the variant first seen in South Africa, although he inspired individuals to get accessible vaccines within the meantime somewhat than look forward to the booster.
Regardless of the rise in numbers, information stays hopeful on the vaccine entrance: Findings launched this week counsel the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine can scale back the danger of an immunized individual unknowingly passing alongside the virus to others. It’s anticipated to obtain emergency use authorization over the weekend and shall be distributed quickly after.
Nonetheless, officers encourage states to take a extra cautious method. Though there’s temptation to revive some degree of normalcy, Fauci mentioned, “we have now to watch out … we do not wish to be the individuals at all times wanting on the darkish aspect, however you wish to be practical.”
White Home COVID-19 Response Workforce briefing, Feb. 26, 2021.