The CDC Is Tracking a Recent Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

Spring Break Crowds

(CNN) – Top US health officials say they’re encouraged by the accelerating Covid-19 vaccinations.

But not enough Americans are fully vaccinated yet to suppress the spread of the virus — and eased restrictions across the country coupled with spring break crowds could spell trouble, one expert said Wednesday.

“What concerns me is the footage of what’s happening in spring breakers, in people who are not continuing to implement prevention strategies while we get fully scaled up,” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 briefing.

“We need to hang in there for just a little while longer because we can see a time in the next couple of months where we will have a lot more people vaccinated and we will really be able to blunt infection rates,” she added.

The coming weeks are especially critical: Covid-19 cases in the country have seen a slight increase, according to Walensky, while a highly contagious — and potentially more deadly — variant is circulating. Some experts have warned that by getting lax with safety measures, the country could see infections surge again.

“If we choose to invest in prevention right now, we will ultimately come out of this pandemic faster and with fewer lives lost,” the CDC director said.

So while the US is getting closer to turning the corner, it’s not there yet. The country continues to add tens of thousands of new cases and hundreds of virus-related deaths every day.

“When you are at that level, I don’t think you can declare victory and say you’ve turned the corner,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said during the briefing. “You’ve got to continue to do what we’re doing: more vaccinations and continue to do public health measures until we actually do turn the corner.”

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