As Covid-19 numbers gradually improve, health experts have an urgent message: Don’t get cocky and relax.
“We can’t get overconfident. Every time we do and we put our guard down … we get another surge with another variant,” said Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, a viral researcher and internal medicine physician. “So yes, things are better. But they’re far from over.”
On average, 107,312 new cases were reported each day over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the lowest since August 5.
Hospitalizations have dropped, too. About 71,325 patients are hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, a 12.7% decrease compared to last week.
“It does not signal the beginning of the end of this pandemic,” Rodriguez said Monday. “What it signals is that we are now on the downswing here of this latest surge, this Delta surge. But we’re still getting over 100,000 infections a day. And right now, the tide is higher than it was a year ago.”
The daily Covid-19 death toll is a sobering reality check.
Over the past week, an average of more than 1,800 Americans died from Covid-19 every day, according to Johns Hopkins. Health experts say the vast majority of those deaths were preventable with vaccination.
‘Let’s focus like a laser’
Whether Americans can gather more safely this holiday season largely depends upon actions taken now, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.
“The best way to assure that we’ll be in good shape as we get into the winter would be to get more and more people vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN Monday.
Multiple times throughout the pandemic, Covid-19 numbers have dropped, only to surge again, sometimes with a new variant.
“We’ve just got to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down, and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” Fauci told CBS Sunday. “Let’s focus like a laser on continuing to get those cases down, and we can do it by people getting vaccinated.”
As of Sunday, 55.9% of the US population has been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
Vaccines for younger kids might be within weeks
The US Food and Drug Administration said Friday its vaccine advisers will meet October 26 to discuss data from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine trial among children 5 to 11.