Just as the United States is beginning to emerge from lockdown, the threat of another is on the horizon.
The CDC’s Rochelle Walensky said Monday that she’s worried the US could see “another avoidable surge” of Covid-19 if mask-wearing, physical distancing, crowd and travel avoidance and other measures are not followed.
Speaking at a White House briefing, Walensky said the Biden Administration is encouraging governors and the private sector to maintain, or reimpose, coronavirus restrictions.
“We are looking at these data, we’re reaching out to individual states, trying to encourage them. We are having weekly governors’ calls…to encourage them to look at the case data, to look at what’s happening with the variants, and to do as much outreach as we can to slow down the relaxation [of restrictions].”
At issue: two new variants, the B.1427 and B.1429, are said to account for 52% of cases in California, 41% in Nevada, and 25% in Arizona. Meanwhile, the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom is now thought to be responsible for just under 10% of cases in New Jersey and Florida.
The B.1.1.7 variant is believed to be highly contagious and possibly more deadly than the original coronavirus. As a result of a poor roll-out with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Europe is back on high alert with Paris now resuming a month-long lockdown.