The shift may be a sign that new, highly transmissible variants of the coronavirus are beginning to take hold, according to public health experts
The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sounded the alarm that recent declines in coronavirus cases, hospital admissions and deaths in the US may be stalling, a “concerning shift” as highly contagious variants threaten to worsen the pandemic. CDC head Dr Rochelle Walensky warned Americans that despite positive, downward trends in new cases, now is not the time for Americans to let down their guard against the novel coronavirus.
“Over the last few weeks, cases in hospital admissions in the US have been coming down since early January, and deaths have been declining in the past week. But the latest data suggest that these declines may be stalling, potentially leveling off at still a very high number. We at CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory,” said Dr Walensky during a briefing on February 26. She added, “Things are tenuous. Now is not the time to relax restrictions. Although we’ve been experiencing large declines in cases and admissions over the past six weeks, these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic.”
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Dr Walensky informed that the most recent seven-day average of cases, approximately 66,350, is higher than the average she had shared on February 23. Cases have been increasing for the past three days compared to the prior week, she noted on Friday, February 26. The agency chief emphasized that while deaths tend to fluctuate more than cases and hospital admissions, the most recent seven-day average, approximately 2,000 per day, is slightly higher than the seven-day average earlier in the week.
“So I want to be clear: cases, hospital admissions, and deaths all remain very high. And the recent shift in the pandemic must be taken extremely seriously. We may be done with the virus, but clearly, the virus is not done with us. We cannot get comfortable or give in to a false sense of security that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Not now. Not when mass vaccination is so very close,” emphasized Dr Walensky.
According to the CDC, where the pandemic goes from here depends on the collective behavior of Americans. “Together, we have the capacity to avoid another surge in our nation. I know people are tired, they want to get back to life to normal.. Brinkwire Brief News.