US coronavirus: That is why the Covid-19 numbers are step by step bettering. (Notice: these usually are not broadly used vaccinations)
“It’s what we do right: stay separate, wear masks, don’t travel, don’t mix with others inside,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After widespread holiday gatherings and travel, the US broke its records for daily new infections, hospitalizations and deaths in early January.
Since then, Covid-19 cases and hospital stays have gradually declined. Doctors say there are several reasons why:
“First, we have a lot of numbers behind us over the holidays,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health.
“Second, there is pretty good evidence that people are better at social distancing and wearing masks,” he said.
Third, I think we’ve had so many infections in many communities that you have some level of population immunity. Not herd immunity, but enough population immunity to slow the virus down. “
Where the US is now
The 7-day average of new cases each day is now 90,416 – after peaking at around 250,000 in early January, according to Johns Hopkins University.
As of Sunday, 67,023 people with Covid-19 had been hospitalized – about half of the record high of 132,447 set on January 6, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
But Covid-19 deaths are still painfully high. More than 42,500 Americans have died from Covid-19 in the past two weeks. That is an average of more than 3,000 human lives per day.
And disruptive variants continue to spread and threaten a further increase.
“We had three voltage peaks. Whether we have a fourth wave or not is up to us,” said Frieden.
“And the stakes couldn’t be higher – not only in terms of the number of people who could die in the fourth wave, but also in terms of the risk that even more dangerous variants will emerge when there is more uncontrolled spread.”
Because of this, health experts say heads of state shouldn’t relax restrictions like mask mandates now.
“It is encouraging to see these trends are falling, but they come from an extraordinarily high place,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky opposite NBC on Sunday.
“If we are to get our children back to school, and I think we all do, it all depends on how far the community goes out there,” she said.
“We all need to take responsibility to reduce its spread in the community, including wearing masks so we can get our children and society back.”
Variants in the United States include native tribes
According to the CDC, more than 1,100 cases of the highly contagious variant B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the UK, have been reported in 39 US states. About a third of the cases have been reported in Florida.The troubling strain B.1.351, first discovered in South Africa, has been found in 17 US cases. This strain is of concern as some vaccines may be less effective against it. Now researchers have identified a number of worrying mutations in US samples that appear to also make the virus more transmissible. These mutations all affect the same stretch of the spike protein – the knob-like extension of the virus that is used to dock onto infected cells, the researchers wrote in a pre-print report that has not yet been peer-reviewed. So far, however, these mutations appear to be “relatively rare,” said one of the researchers.
States still have problems with vaccine supplies
Public health experts say the U.S. is now in a race to vaccinate as many Americans as possible before coronavirus strains continue to spread and mutate.
However, the supply bottlenecks remain.
In Washington state officials said the dates for the first dose this week will be “extremely limited” as the state will focus on administering the second dose.
“We are closely monitoring the distribution of the doses and making adjustments if necessary,” said Health Minister Umair A. Shah.
“While the limited availability of the first doses in the coming week will be challenging, focusing on the second doses will pave the way for improved and more sustainable vaccine dispensing in the coming weeks.”
In San Francisco, officials said the large-volume vaccination site would pause for a week and then reopen “as soon as there is enough supply to resume operations.”
A second high-volume site is expected to resume vaccinations on Friday – but only for the second dose. A third high-volume vaccine website is slated to launch this week, but “with available dates well below full capacity,” officials said in a press release on Sunday.
“The city has the capacity to deliver more than 10,000 vaccines a day, but they lack the vaccine supply,” they added.
Several of the Covid-19 vaccination centers in Los Angeles had to be temporarily closed due to missing vaccine doses.
Washington state and California are far from alone in their struggles. Officials said supplies will likely remain challenging for a while, and experts say vaccines will likely not become generally available to the American public until late spring or summer.
“By the end of summer, we’ll have enough vaccines to vaccinate the entire eligible US population,” Walensky, the CDC director, told Fox News on Sunday.
Debates about teacher vaccinations and school openings
The emergency doctor Dr. Leana Wen said that teacher vaccinations are vital to reopening schools – an attitude that differs from the CDC’s guidelines on school reopening released last week.
The agency’s guidelines did not list vaccination as a “key” strategy for opening schools, instead focusing on measures such as masks and physical distancing, among other things. Vaccinations for staff and teachers are “an additional protective layer,” said Walensky.
On Sunday, Walensky told CNN that while teacher vaccination is not a requirement for schools to reopen, current CDC guidelines state that those at higher risk should have virtual options.
“I’m a strong advocate of teachers getting their vaccinations,” Walensky said. “But we don’t think it’s a requirement for schools to reopen.”
However, Wen described teacher vaccinations as “essential”.
“If we want students to be in school to study in person, at least we can protect the health and well-being of our teachers,” Wen said.
She said vaccinations are particularly important for teachers because “in so many parts of the country teachers are already being induced to return to school in poorly ventilated, cramped areas, with many students who may not always mask and practice physical distancing.” “.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Jason Hanna, Keith Allen, Ben Tinker, Michael Nedelman, Maggie Fox and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.