Following weeks of significant decline in Covid-19 in the US, infection numbers have now plateaued. Last week’s daily case average was higher than 60,000, while daily deaths averaged just over 1700. And according to the COVID Tracking Project, the deadly virus is still keeping a minimum of 41,000 people hospitalized nationwide.
These numbers are considerable enough to keep health authorities alert. The stall in infection decline is something public health officials are most concerned about and believe“we are now on the tipping point of another surge.”
Leading infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci pointed out how after the initial surge in the spring of 2020, cases went up then hovered around 20,000 before swelling up to the second wave in July. At this juncture, cases peaked at 70,000 and then leveled 40,000, just before the hard winter when daily new cases began increasing exponentially and multiplied to hundreds of thousands.
During a White House briefing, Fauci explained why the current case trend is something of an omen.
“The issue is that we are starting to plateau. That plateau is about 60,000 to 70,000 cases a day. When you have that much viral activity in a plateau, it almost invariably means that you are at risk of another spike.”
He then highlighted the experience of other countries that came to a halt in decline just before their numbers multiplied.
“Many countries in Europe have seen just that. They had a decrease in cases over a six-week period. They plateaued. And now, over the past week, they saw an increase in cases by 9 percent, something we desperately want to avoid.”
These warnings come at a time when, to make matters worse, several states have decided to “ease out” and lift restrictions intended to control the viral spread. And that too while the CDC is repeatedly cautioning that now is not the time to relax. The states of Mississippi and Texas, both announced taking a step back from mandatory masking and simultaneously allowing businesses to continue at full capacity.
On Friday, CDC Director, Rachelle Walensky urged everyone to still continue taking preventive measures twice as much, given the high case and death numbers. She said,
“I know the idea of relaxing mask-wearing and getting back to everyday activities is appealing, but we’re not there yet. And we have been — we have seen this movie before: When prevention measures like mask mandates are rolled back, cases go up.”
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