CDC chief warns of another Covid surge as Americans travel for spring break

Passengers arrive for American Airlines flights at O’Hare International Airport on February 05, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

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The U.S. may nonetheless see another coronavirus surge — even as vaccinations in opposition to Covid-19 quickly rise throughout the nation — as states loosen up restrictions and extra Americans travel for spring break, the pinnacle of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Monday.

“With the coming warmer weather, I know it’s tempting to want to relax and to let our guard down, particularly after a hard winter that sadly saw the highest level of cases and deaths during the pandemic so far,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky mentioned at a press briefing.

The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, screened greater than 1.34 million individuals on Sunday, 86,000 extra individuals than the identical day a yr in the past simply after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

TSA screenings have topped 1 million daily since Thursday, the very best volumes in a yr. While air travel is way brief of 2019 ranges, extra Americans are returning to the skies regardless of steering from the CDC warning in opposition to nonessential journeys, even for those that are totally vaccinated.

Even although many schools within the U.S. scaled again their spring breaks in an effort to curb partying and infections, prime Biden administration officers are nonetheless fearful about vacationers who’re “enjoying spring break festivities, maskless,” Walensky mentioned.

“I’m pleading with you, for the sake of our nation’s health,” Walensky mentioned on the briefing Monday. “Cases climbed last spring, they climbed again in the summer, they will climb now if we stop taking precautions when we continue to get more and more people vaccinated.”

Even with declining infections and a quickly increasing vaccine rollout, the U.S. continues to report a dangerously excessive baseline of day by day instances that would go increased if Americans let their guard down, prime Biden well being officers have warned. Some 37.5 million individuals within the U.S., about 11% of the inhabitants, are totally vaccinated up to now, in keeping with the CDC.

The U.S. has come a great distance since early January, when it reached a peak of simply over 250,000 day by day new instances, primarily based on a weekly common. The nation is now reporting a day by day common of 53,670 new infections over the past week, a 10% decline in contrast with per week in the past, in keeping with a CNBC evaluation of knowledge compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

— CNBC’s Leslie Josephs and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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