High school prom in Hawaii, where masked dancers were not allowed to touch. After an in-person session, the mayor and other members of the Colorado city council returned to virtual meetings. After 22 new outbreaks, the mask mandate was reinstated at skilled nursing facilities throughout Los Angeles County.
As the school year winds down and Americans begin to prepare for summer vacations, a COVID-19-related surge is in full swing. However, many people have returned to their prepandemic routines, plans and activities, which often include travel.
The case counts are at their highest since February mid-February, but that's likely due to unreported positive home tests and asymptomatic infection. An influential modeling group from the University of Washington in Seattle had earlier estimated that only 13% of cases were being submitted to U.S. authorities.
Hospitalizations are up and over one-third of the U.S. populace lives in areas considered high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Northeast is the most affected.
Yet, vaccinations have stalled and elected officials across the country seem reluctant to impose new restrictions to a public that is ready to move forward despite the fact that the U.S. death rate has surpassed 1,000,000 people in less than 2 1/2 years of the outbreak.
Crystal Watson, public-health lead at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security’s Coronavirus Resource Center, stated that "people probably underestimate the prevalence of COVID." "I believe there is a lot more virus than we know, so people are more likely to become infected and exposed than they think."
According to Johns Hopkins University data, a key metric in the pandemic is the seven-day rolling mean for daily new cases in the U.S. over the past two weeks. This number was approximately 76,000 on May 9, and it jumped to almost 109,000 Monday. This was the highest level it had been since mid February, when the omicron-fueled surge began to slow down.
The number of deaths is still declining and hospitals intensive care units don't have as many patients as they did during the pandemic. This may be due to the fact that vaccines and immunity from those who have had the disease make it less severe.
"The disease's nature has changed. Two years ago, I was witnessing a steady stream of cases of pneumonia. We are now in a position where people should be in a position to avoid this outcome by taking advantage vaccines, preexposure prophylaxis for high-risk patients, and early antiviral treatment," Dr. Jonathan Dworkin, a Hawaii-based clinical infectious diseases physician, stated via email.
Hawaii once had one the lowest rates of death, hospitalization, and infection in the country. However, the number of new cases is rising among its 1.4 million residents. Beginning Wednesday, the University of Hawaii will require indoor masks on all 10 campuses.
Hawaii is second in the nation for infection rates, with cases increasing eight weeks straight, behind Rhode Island. The state's health department in Hawaii estimates that the actual number of cases is five to six times greater, despite positive home tests not being included in official data.