Is decline in US Covid-19 cases stalling? CDC warns ‘not the time to relax restrictions' as new variants spread

The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sounded the alarm that recent declines in coronavirus cases, hospital admissions and deaths in the US may be stalling, a “concerning shift” as highly contagious variants threaten to worsen the pandemic. CDC head Dr Rochelle Walensky warned Americans that despite positive, downward trends in new cases, now is not the time for Americans to let down their guard against the novel coronavirus.

“Over the last few weeks, cases in hospital admissions in the US have been coming down since early January, and deaths have been declining in the past week. But the latest data suggest that these declines may be stalling, potentially leveling off at still a very high number. We at CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory,” said Dr Walensky during a briefing on February 26. She added, “Things are tenuous. Now is not the time to relax restrictions. Although we’ve been experiencing large declines in cases and admissions over the past six weeks, these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic.”