CDC director warns recent decline in U.S. Covid cases may have stalled as variants spread

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who has been chosen to serve as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks throughout an occasion at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AP

The decline in Covid-19 cases reported in the U.S. since early January may be flattening, a regarding shift as extremely transmissible variants threaten to exacerbate infections, the top of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated Friday.

“Over the last few weeks, cases and hospital admissions in the United States have been coming down since early January, and deaths have been declining in the past week,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated throughout a press briefing. “But the latest data suggest that these declines may be stalling, potentially leveling off at still a very high number.”

The nation is now reporting a day by day common of roughly 73,376 new cases over the past week, a slight uptick in contrast with every week in the past, in keeping with a CNBC evaluation of information compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. peaked at near 250,000 cases per day in early January following the winter holidays.

The recent shift may be an indication that new, extremely transmissible variants of the coronavirus are starting to take maintain, Walensky stated. One variant, recognized as B.1.1.7 and first discovered in the U.Okay., is anticipated to develop into the predominant pressure by mid- to-late March, specialists have predicted.

The B.1.1.7 variant seems to account for roughly 10% of recent Covid-19 cases in the U.S., up from simply 1% just a few weeks in the past, Walensky stated. However, some states have extra cases of the extremely transmissible variant than others.

Top U.S. well being officers have warned in recent weeks that the variants might reverse the present downward trajectory in infections in the U.S. and delay the nation’s restoration from the pandemic.

The head of the federal well being company stated states should not start to raise restrictions on companies and gatherings given the course of cases and excessive degree of viral spread.

“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,” Walensky stated.

White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci stated the nation will likely be in a “precarious position” if the variety of day by day new cases begins to plateau at roughly 70,000.

“We have to carefully look at what happens over the next week or so with those numbers before you start making the understandable need to relax on certain restrictions,” Fauci stated.

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