The U.S. on Wednesday surpassed 30 million cases of COVID-19, highlighting the continued threat of the virus even as the country makes progress on vaccinations.
While new cases per day have decreased significantly from their peak in January, positivity totals remain high, at around 55,000 cases per day.
As more vulnerable people get vaccinated, the number of deaths is declining, but there are still about 1,000 people dying from the virus every day.
Over one year into the pandemic, Americans appear to be getting restless after months of lockdowns.
Scenes of hundreds of spring breakers flooding the streets, beaches and restaurants in Miami Beach, Fla., have prompted health officials to urge people not to let down their guard.
Health officials have also warned against states lifting coronavirus restrictions until a wider share of the population is vaccinated.
Leaders in states like Texas and Mississippi have lifted coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates and social distancing requirements in businesses.
“When I’m often asked, ‘Are we turning the corner?’ my response is really more like, ‘We are at the corner. Whether or not we’re going to be turning that corner still remains to be seen,’ ” Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden leans heavily into gun control Overnight Health Care: AstraZeneca may have included outdated data on vaccine trial, officials say | Pelosi says drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package | Biden administration extends special ObamaCare enrollment until August The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Happy anniversary to ObamaCare MORE, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said Wednesday at a White House briefing.
With around 55,000 cases every day, “I don’t think you can declare victory and say you’ve turned the corner,” he added. “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.”
The country is now vaccinating people at a solid clip, around 2.5 million shots per day.
Among people age 65 and older, the most vulnerable group, 70 percent have now received at least one shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data.
Still, among all adults, about 18 percent are fully vaccinated, and 33 percent have received at least one dose, highlighting that there is still a significant way to go in vaccinating the public before a full “return to normal” can occur.
Experts say people should still wear masks when in public and avoid crowds and travel.
“I continue to be worried about the latest data and the apparent stall we are seeing in the trajectory of the pandemic,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden leans heavily into gun control Overnight Health Care: AstraZeneca may have included outdated data on vaccine trial, officials say | Pelosi says drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package | Biden administration extends special ObamaCare enrollment until August Teachers union ‘not convinced’ on CDC guidance to reduce classroom spacing MORE said Wednesday. “CDC is watching these numbers very closely. As I said on Monday, the decisions we make now will determine what the pandemic looks like in the days and weeks ahead.”