CDC director concerned over rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, D

Health officials are concerned that some COVID-19 metrics are trending in the wrong direction such as new cases and hospitalizations despite more Americans getting vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday that the country recorded a 7-day average of about 57,000 new Covid-19 cases per day, a 7% jump over the previous week. Walensky added that new hospitalizations are slightly up at roughly 4,700 admissions per day.

“I remain deeply concerned about this trajectory. We have seen cases and hospital admissions move from historic declines to stagnations to increases,” Walensky said. “And we know from prior surges that if we don’t control things now, there is a real potential for the epidemic curve to soar again.”

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However, COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase across the country. According to the CDC, nearly 92 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than 50 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, representing 15.1 % of the total U.S. population. Several states have now lowered the age requirement to get the vaccine to allow more people to get injected.

The White House announced Johnson & Johnson is set to deliver 11 million doses of the vaccine next week.

RELATED: Large trial underway to determine if vaccinated people can catch, transmit COVID-19

Walenksy and other top health officials have expressed concern that states are easing their restrictions too soon. Some states have lifted their mask mandates, such as Texas and Mississippi. Cities, like Los Angeles, have reopened indoor dining and movie theatres with limited capacity. 

Health officials urge people to continue wearing their masks and stay socially-distant.

“This has been a long year, and I know people are tired and they don’t want to hear that it’s going to take us a little while longer, but it’s going to take us a little while longer,” Walensky said.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.
 



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