COVID Cases Are Rising Again in 14 States, Primarily in the Upper Midwest and New York Area
After a steep decline following the holiday surge, cases have now plateaued or started to increase again around the country
In 14 states across the country, cases have risen by more than 10% this week compared to the week prior, CNN reported. The increases are primarily happening in the upper Midwest, the New York area and the Mid-Atlantic, reversing the downward trend that has been happening since mid-January.
Michigan is seeing the largest jump, with cases increasing 50% over the last two weeks. Other Midwestern states like Montana, North Dakota and Idaho are also dealing with an increase in infections.
On the East Coast, while New York state has a low caseload, New York City is still seeing around 3,500 cases a day, as the positivity rate stays at about 7%. Cases in New Jersey and Connecticut are also growing, along with Mid-Atlantic states like Delaware and Maryland.
"There's a resurgence going on here," disease tracker David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Washington Post of the U.S. "There's clearly been a change here in the last couple of weeks."
U.S. cases were on a steep decline after the deadly holiday surge, when the country saw a record-breaking 300,000 new infections in a single day. In the last week, cases have averaged around 55,000 a day, according to The New York Times, a number that is still very worrisome.
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But despite the new rise in cases and the insistence from public health experts to continue following COVID-19 restrictions, most states have announced that they are allowing businesses to reopen with larger capacities and, in the case of Texas and Mississippi, removing mask requirements.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells PEOPLE that the decision to reopen states is "risky."
"I understand the urge to get back to normal as soon as possible, but I don't agree with it," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "It's risky and could set us back to a place that's even worse than where we are now … and lead to additional surges. … Even when the authorities pull back on [preventative] recommendations, I would urge people to follow the recommendations from the CDC."
If Americans continue to wear masks and avoid gathering with people outside of their household, the end of the pandemic will be in sight.
"It's too early to declare victory, but as we increase the number of vaccinations and don't precipitously pull back on public health measures, we could be headed on a steady pathway toward things getting progressively back to normal," Fauci says.
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