The United States can do two key things to prevent more infections, more hospitalizations and more deaths, Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN.
“A, you keep lowering and doubling public health measures and B, you are doing all you can to get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as quickly as possible,” he said on Saturday. .
On the vaccine front, the United States is doing “extremely well,” Fauci said. The country reported a new record over the weekend with more than four million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered in 24 hours, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “A record day !! + 4.08 million doses reported over the total yesterday,” Dr Cyrus Shahpar, White House director of Covid-19 data, wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Also for the first time averaging over 3M per day over the past week. Millions of people are coming together to accelerate our progress towards pandemic control!” But despite the record pace of vaccinations, there are still not enough Americans vaccinated to control the spread of the virus. , warn experts. So far, about 31.4% of Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and only 18% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
That is why experts recommend continuing to take security measures for the time being.
“We say it over and over and we need the local people, we need the governors, the mayors and others to be able to say that we are not out of it yet,” Fauci said. “People say, ‘Well you just want to confine us forever.’ No, it won’t last forever because every day that you get four million, three million people vaccinated, you get closer and closer to control. “
More than a dozen state leaders have announced easing restrictions in recent weeks, while several have removed masked mandates.
“What we’re saying is double down, stay a little bit longer,” Fauci added, “And the vaccine and the vaccinations of the people in this country are going to outweigh the outbreak of the virus. There is no doubt that the vaccine will win. “
States that sound the alarm
Already, officials from several states have reported alarming data.
Michigan is in the midst of another wave fueled by an increase in rallies, more people on the move, economic reopenings and epidemics in some schools and prisons, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, medical director of the State, to CNN at the end of last month. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also told CNN last week that another reason the state is seeing a high number of cases is “a high proportion of variants.” Michigan has reported the second-highest number of cases of the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant, according to CDC data, behind Florida.
“These are a lot more contagious and we’re seeing that whether it’s in youth sports or whether it’s the re-engagement of some of our restaurants,” Whitmer said.
In neighboring Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine has also sounded the alarm. Cases are starting to increase there too, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
And variant activity is also on the rise, said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer of the Ohio Department of Health.
“Ohio remains in a race against a virus that is now more contagious and back on our heels,” Vanderhoff said. “We can win this race as long as we don’t falter; as long as we continue with consistent masking and vaccination.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown also expressed concern on Friday about the latest figures for cases and hospitalizations in the state.
“It is clear that in Oregon and across the country, the fourth outbreak of this virus is upon us,” Brown said in a press release. While Oregon’s number of cases has thankfully not matched those in other states that have seen big spikes, our numbers are rising and we’re back on high alert. “
Vermont officials said on Friday they feared the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases their state is experiencing could lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.
“My optimism is for the future, and the future is very near. But when it comes to the present, frankly, I’m very concerned, ”said Dr. Mark Levine, the state’s health commissioner.
You Asked, We Answer: Your Top Questions About Covid-19 and Vaccines
The role that vaccinations will play
Experts and heads of state have stressed that Covid-19 vaccinations will be the country’s fastest way back to normalcy.
As the number of vaccines increases across the United States, the CDC is issuing more guidance on what fully immunized Americans can do. The agency released a long-awaited travel advice update for fully vaccinated people on Friday, eliminating some testing and quarantine recommendations. The CDC considers a person to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk for themselves, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said, but travel is still not currently recommended as the United States sees increasing numbers of Covid cases -19.
Read the updated travel advice here The agency also said people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus can safely assemble for Easter on Sunday, indoors and without a mask.
Meanwhile, different parts of the country are navigating the role that vaccinations will play in getting back to normalcy.
Cornell University has announced its intention to require Covid-19 vaccination for students returning to the Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses in the fall of 2021. The university said that although it would accept medical and religious exemptions, “it is expected that our campuses and classrooms will be predominantly made up of vaccinated individuals, which will significantly reduce the risk of infection for all.” This announcement comes just days away. after Rutgers University said it would require students attending in-person classes this fall to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning the use of Covid-19 passports in the state. His order prohibits any government entity from issuing vaccine passports and prevents companies from requiring such documentation.
The governor cited concerns about freedom and privacy as the main basis for this action and argued that the implementation and enforcement of vaccine passports “would create two categories of citizens on the basis of vaccinations.”
“Individual Covid-19 vaccination records are private health information and should not be shared by warrant,” the order reads.
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Sahar Akbarzai, Anjali Huynh and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.
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