The United States could be in the early stages of a fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that is renewing across the country, with coronavirus cases rising in 25 states, according to reports.
The United States has posted, on average, 63,000 new cases a day during the past week, an increase of 17% over the previous week, the news website Axios. reported. Only five states have recently seen declines in new cases. The third wave of the pandemic, which peaked in January, saw some 250,000 people a day test positive for Covid-19, the Hill reported.
This new increase in cases is most pronounced in Michigan and New York, but is spreading across large swaths of the country. The threat of a fourth wave comes as many states have loosened Covid-19 restrictions, disregarding the many warnings from public health officials that doing so was premature.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, federal director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Monday that a fourth wave is almost guaranteed, noting: “I am going to lose the script and reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. “
“We have a lot to look forward to, a lot of promise and potential from where we are, and a lot of reasons for hope. But right now I’m scared, ”Walensky also said during an emotional moment of a briefing at the White House.
Joe Biden has implored regional officials to maintain or reinstate their masked mandates, due to the alarming trend in the number of cases in the United States.
“I reiterate my call to all governors, mayors and local leaders to maintain and restore the mandate of the masks,” the president said hours after Walensky’s comments. “Please, this is not politics. Please reinstate the mandate if it disappoints you. “
Any fourth wave is likely to be less deadly than previous waves, especially among older people, where 73% of older people have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. But a new wave of the virus can easily thwart progress in fighting the pandemic. Even with fewer deaths, millions of people will remain at risk of illness and death, and a new wave will put pressure on America’s overburdened healthcare system.
Meanwhile, millions of younger Americans with health conditions that put them at higher risk have yet to get the vaccine, even though the launch of a vaccine in the US has garnered praise for its speed. Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen amid the virus’s apparent resurgence, though less than before.
The ongoing pandemic also sets the stage for the emergence of variant strains of the virus. The variants currently causing this outbreak are more contagious than the initial strain of Covid-19. The Covid-19 vaccines now available could also be less effective against these variants.
Relaxed restrictions and increasingly lax behavior among pandemic-weary Americans have further fanned the flames of the Covid-19 resurgence. Some states, including Texas, have abandoned their mask mandates. Even states that historically imposed stronger restrictions during the pandemic have relaxed regulations despite this rebound.
Wan Yang, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said the New York Times that changing habits could cause a continued increase in coronavirus cases in New York City and State. More New York residents are interacting inside buildings, given greater access to indoor dining and group fitness classes.
In New York’s Rockland County, which is north of the city, teens, as well as people between the ages of 20 and 49, have led the rise in cases. “They’re done with this, they want to get out,” county health commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert told the Times.
New Jersey, which has had one of the highest coronavirus case rates in the US, saw a 20% increase in the past 14 days. Despite this, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that he would relax seating capacity restrictions at sports facilities, as well as at covered events.
Although the case data is increasingly dire, vaccination efforts have expanded dramatically. Biden said Monday that up to 90% of American adults would be eligible for a Covid-19 jab by April 19.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism