U.S. Covid-19 Cases Top 7-Day Average Of 100,000 For First Time Since February
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The seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases rose above 100,000 Saturday for the first time since February 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with multiple subvariants of omicron accounting for nearly all new cases.

Key Facts

The seven-day average of new cases hit 101,029, according to the CDC, up 42% from two weeks ago, when local health authorities reported an average of 71,099 new cases.

New cases doubled in at least 7 states and Washington, D.C., in the past two weeks, including Mississippi, which had a 157% increase in cases.

The CDC warned of high levels of community transmission in several counties in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with the seven-day average reaching 3,250 for the week ending May 17, up 24% from the week prior, according to the CDC.

Big Number

50.9%. That’s the percentage of Covid cases in the U.S. that were caused by the BA.2 subvariant in the past week, according to the CDC. Another subvariant of the omicron strain, BA.2.12.1, has been on the rise in recent weeks and accounted for 47.5% of cases in the past week.

Key Background

Though cases have been climbing across the country, local officials have been reluctant to reimpose mask mandates and other measures to reduce the spread. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Monday the city is “not at the point of mandating masks” or other restrictions like requiring proof of vaccination, even as the city entered the “high” alert level for the virus on Wednesday. Health officials in the Bay Area of California also issued a statement last week recommending for people to wear masks and get tested, but did not impose any new restrictions. The CDC loosened its mask guidance in February, only recommending masks for areas that report high levels of severe cases.

Crucial Quote

“As we’re currently seeing a steady rise of cases in parts of the country, we encourage everyone to use the menu of tools we have today to prevent further infection and severe disease, including wearing a mask, getting tested, accessing treatments early if infected, and getting vaccinated or boosted,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a press conference Wednesday.

Further Reading

US Reports More Than 200,000 Covid Cases—Highest Level Since February (Forbes)

​​Covid Cases Are Rising — But Cities So Far Aren’t Reimposing Mask Mandates (Forbes)

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