While more than 64,900 new infections were reported on Sunday, it was the country’s lowest case count since October. Just last month, reported infections were topping 200,000 a day.
And California, one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic, reported its lowest daily case increase since early November. That comes amid a steady decline not only in new infections, but in hospitalizations and deaths as well.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported a decline in infection and hospitalization rates, saying the state was now past a “post-holiday surge.”
It is good news to see the Covid-19 numbers heading in the right direction. But numbers are still high.
“The only thing that I’m concerned about now, is that we do have this UK variant… and it seems to be accelerating in the United States,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School for Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN on Monday.
“New cases are going down now, below 100,000 confirmed new cases a day, that’s great news,” Hotez added. “But I’m worried we’re going to start seeing an uptick again.”
Weather adds another challenge for vaccine plans
And while officials are working to get more Americans vaccinated, winter storms are now delaying the process in parts of the country.
In Texas, Dallas County officials announced they were closing the Fair Park vaccination site through Wednesday because of severe weather.
“We understand the urgency to administer second doses of the vaccine, but we must also balance people’s safety,” officials said in a news release. “As soon as we can safely open again, we will.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said mass vaccination events planned through Friday were canceled due to severe weather that “makes driving dangerous and threatens the health and safety of anyone exposed to the cold.”
In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said that while the weather “is going to slow down our vaccinations,” he hopes the state will be able to make up for the delays next week.
The storms caused disruptions as states continue to grapple with other vaccine challenges, including a short supply and distribution inequities.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Monday that while progress on vaccine hesitancy and equity among members of the Latino community was “encouraging,” the state was still seeing a “substantial disparity in vaccine administration between Hispanic and non-Hispanic communities.”
He added the state still needed more supply from the federal government to be able to meet the growing demand.
“When we get to that point when we can expand the supply and we have that supply, we need people to be comfortable taking the vaccine,” the governor said.
Most children are in red zones under CDC school reopening guidelines
While vaccines are catching up, many parts of the country continue to see high levels of Covid-19 transmission.
Red, or “high transmission,” communities are defined by the CDC as counties where there were at least 100 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people or a test positivity rate of at least 10% in the past seven days.
But even in communities where there is high transmission, the agency says its new guidelines provide strategies for schools to continue in-person learning.
“At all levels of community transmission, the strategy provides options for in-person instruction,” a CDC spokesperson told CNN in an email on Monday. “It is not the case that we are saying that schools that are currently open should close because they are in counties in the ‘red.’ Our recommendation is that schools in red areas can in fact provide in-person instruction, as long as they are strictly implementing mitigation and monitoring cases in the school community.”
Some experts have also said teacher vaccinations should be essential for a return to class. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recently told CNN that while she advocates for teachers receiving their shots, “we don’t believe it’s a prerequisite for schools to reopen.”
As of Monday, two more states — Alaska and North Dakota — have started allowing all or some teachers and school staff to begin receiving their shots, bringing the total up to 28 states plus Washington, DC.
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Deidre McPhillips, Jacqueline Howard, Maria Cartaya, Amanda Watts, Rebekah Riess, Keith Allen, Pete Muntean, Yon Pomrenze, Evan Simko-Bednarski, Elizabeth Stuart, Michael Nedelman and Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.
All news and articles are copyrighted to the respective authors and/or News Broadcasters. LC is an independent Online News Aggregator
Read more from original source here…