Health Officials Warn: We’re Not Back to ‘Normal’ Yet
Much of America’s recent progress against Covid-19 has been erased as new infections jump nationwide, medical officials report. On March 24, the United States surpassed 30 million cases of COVID-19. While new cases per day have decreased significantly from their peak in January, positivity totals remain high at around 55,000 cases per day. In the past week, things have gotten worse. At least 27 states have averaged at least 10 percent more cases each day this past week compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University.
There are still about 1,000 people dying from the virus every day. The country is now vaccinating people at a solid clip, around 2.5 million shots per day, one day hitting 3 million.
Health officials continue to warn against lifting coronavirus restrictions until a wider share of the population is vaccinated. Among people age 65 and older, the most vulnerable group, 70 percent have now received at least one shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data. However, among all adults, about 18 percent are fully vaccinated, and 33 percent have received at least one dose, highlighting that there is still a significant way to go in vaccinating the public before a full “return to normal” can occur.
“I don’t think you can declare victory and say you’ve turned the corner,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, at a White House briefing. “What we’re likely seeing is because of things like spring break and pulling back on the mitigation methods that you’ve seen now. You’ve got to continue to do what we’re doing: more vaccinations and continue to do public health measures until we actually do turn the corner.”
“I have a feeling of impending doom,” said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. But right now, I’m scared.”