US Covid-19 rates are declining, but colder weather could mean the Delta wave still has months to go, expert says
This Delta variant could be the last major surge of the Covid-19 pandemic, but now is not the time for the US to grow complacent as it has yet to run its course, an expert said.
“We still have a couple of months to go until this Delta wave sweeps across the country in a regionalized fashion and we are sort of done with it,” said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former director of the US Food and Drug Administration.
“You’re starting to see an uptick in cases in the colder parts of the country and, as people are driven indoors without masks on, you’ll start to see cases pick up,” he said Monday.
Nationally, the average daily rate of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 are on the decline. In the last week, the daily average number of infections has dropped by more than 15,000 to more than 86,000, and an average of 200 fewer people are dying per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Still, an average of about 1,500 people died every day in the last week of Covid-19, according to JHU data.
Much of the national improvement can be attributed to Southern states coming out of the worst of the variant surge, Gottlieb told CNN. But not all regions are faring so well. Numbers are ticking up in the West and Midwest, and it is still unclear how heavy the impact will be in the Northeast, he said.
Gottlieb has predicted the worst of it will be over for much of the country around Thanksgiving and prevalence levels will decline around Christmas, but not all health officials are so certain.
“I’m not sure that we can predict at this time that we’re not going to see a winter surge,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said. “I really think it’s too early for us to celebrate and say that the worst is behind us.”
Before any celebration, the US needs to keep the trajectory of cases, hospitalizations and deaths going down, a feat which depends on vaccinating more people, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.
“We have about 68 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated,” said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We need the overwhelming proportion of those unvaccinated people to be vaccinated and then we can be quite confident that if we can do that, you will not see a resurgence.”
“This really depends upon us and our ability to rise to the occasion and get people vaccinated,” Fauci said.Source: CNN