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CDC Hints at Better Times Ahead As Cases Continue to Drop

CDC Hints at Better Times Ahead As Cases Continue to Drop

COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have fallen sharply in the U.S., with the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases dropping from about 453,000 two weeks ago to about 136,000 as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are at levels similar to September 2021, when the U.S. was emerging from the delta variant surge.

Almost 65% of the country is fully vaccinated, and with the Omicron variant waning, Americans are very eager to move beyond the virus. Government and business leaders have been out ahead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in ending virus measures in the last week, including ordering workers back to offices, eliminating mask mandates, and no longer requiring proof of vaccine to get into restaurants, bars, and sports and entertainment arenas. And in the first real sign from the government that the country is truly about to put the pandemic behind us, the nation’s leading health officials said Wednesday that the U.S. is moving closer to the point that COVID-19 is no longer a “constant crisis” as more cities, businesses and sports venues began lifting pandemic restrictions around the country.

 

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing that the government is contemplating a change to its mask guidance in the coming weeks. Noting recent declines in COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions, and deaths, she acknowledged “people are so eager” for health officials to ease masking rules and other measures designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“We all share the same goal – to get to a point where COVID-19 is no longer disrupting our daily lives, a time when it won’t be a constant crisis – rather something we can prevent, protect against, and treat,” Walensky said.

A major signal that the country is returning to some semblance of normalcy came from two of the nation’s biggest music festivals, both of which draw thousands of people to the California desert town of Indio in April and May. Organizers for the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals said this week there will be no vaccination, masking, or testing mandates in accordance with local guidelines. Coachella also noted that could change along with COVID conditions.

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