Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing entitled “Next Steps: A Road to COVID-19 Response,” at the Dirksen Building on Thursday, November. 4, 2021.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
Covid-19 cases are starting to rise again in parts of the U.S. after stabilizing at high levels following the delta surge this summer, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday.
Fauci’s comments came just a day after the country reported a seven-day average of more than 82,000 new cases, up 11% from a week earlier, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University CNBC data. The number of cases nationwide was down 57% last week from the delta wave peak this summer, but the sharp increase in the number of Covid patients in the Midwest and Northeast is contributing to the surge.
“The only thing that is a little confusing is that we are starting to plateau,” Fauci said during an interview with the Center for Bipartisan Politics. “In other words, the slowdown in the number of cases is now on a plateau, and in some parts of the country we are starting to see a small spike.”
Infections declined for several weeks after reaching a delta wave peak of 172,500 new cases on 13 September. They have stabilized at a high level, bouncing 70,000 to 75,000 new cases a day for nearly three weeks for much of the latter. week, and now they are increasing again.
Average daily cases in the Midwest and Northeast have jumped 19% and 37% in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins. Hospitalizations, which have lagged behind the rise in infections, rose 11% over the same period in the Midwest, while the number of Covid patients currently hospitalized remains unchanged in the Northeast.
Cases and hospitalizations fell sharply in the south, where the delta wave hit earlier and hardest over the summer.
About 47,000 patients with the virus are currently hospitalized nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. has an average of about 1,150 coronavirus deaths per day, according to Johns Hopkins. Both figures over the last week have not changed.
In addition to stable cases, the US should focus on vaccinating the roughly 60 million people nationwide who have not yet been vaccinated, Fauci said. That does not include the 28 million children aged 5-11 who were eligible for the Pfizer two-dose Covid vaccine earlier this month, he noted.
“There is a lot of good news, but there is some difficult news that we really need to discuss as we enter the winter months,” Fauci said.
Fauci added that those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid can gather for the holiday season without any problems. But he recommended wearing a mask in parishioners’ premises, where cases continue to soar at a high level across the country.
“When you are at home with your family, goodness, enjoy it with your parents, children, grandparents,” he said. “There is no reason not to do this.”