One-third of the US population should consider wearing a mask indoors

Today, one-third of the U.S. population lives in areas considered high risk — primarily in the Northeast and Midwest. Those are the areas where people should consider wearing masks indoors — but Americans elsewhere should also be paying attention, officials said.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at a White House press conference with reporters: “The previous increase in infections, in different waves of infection, has demonstrated this. happening all over the country.

Reasons for the increase in COVID-19 cases

For more and more areas and cases, “we urge local leaders to encourage the use of prevention strategies such as wearing masks in indoor public facilities and increasing accessibility to testing and treatment”.

However, Officials have been cautious in making firm predictions about how bad the COVID-19 pandemic will be, depending on a number of factors, including how protective previous infections will be. from new variants.

Last week, the White House COVID-19 Coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, in an interview with The Associated Press, warned that the United States would be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its variants in the coming weeks. This fall and winter if Congress doesn’t pass it quickly. new funding for more vaccines and treatments.

Jaa warned that The COVID-19 virus could cause “undue damage” in the fall and winter without additional funding from Congress, when the US has no treatment.

He added that the US was lagging behind other countries in securing supplies of the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine and that the domestic production facility for at-home testing had dried up due to falling demand. .

Domestic test manufacturers have already begun paying taxes and laying off workers, and will begin selling equipment in the coming weeks, and if the US government doesn’t have the money to buy hundreds of additional tests, as it claims. of Jha said he is ready to leave. business of production trials entirely. It sent millions of people home for free this year.

This could cause the US to rely on other countries to provide testing, causing shortages in the uprising, Jha warned. About 8.5 million households have placed orders for the latest of eight free trials since orders began on Monday, Jha added.

COVID-19 Easy grip! Or it is No?

The COVID-19 infection is now 2 and a half years old. And the US saw – depending on how you count them – that time five waves of COVID-19 were fueled by mutated versions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 5th wave is mainly caused by the Omicron variant in December and January.

The Omicron variant spreads much more easily than previous versions. Some experts fear that the country is now seeing signs of a sixth wave driven by the sub-variable Omicron. On Wednesday, Walensky recorded a steady increase in COVID-19 cases over the past five weeks, with a 26% increase nationally over the past week.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, up 19% over the past week, though still far below the Omicron wave period, he said.

In late February, as that wave subsided, the CDC released new measures for communities where COVID-19 eased its grip, focusing less on positive test results and more on more on what’s going on in the hospital.

More than 32% of the nation’s population currently lives in an area with moderate or high COVID-19 social status, with more than 9% having high levels for which the CDC recommends mask use and other mitigation efforts.

Over the past week, an additional 8% of Americans are living in a county with moderate or higher COVID-19 social status.

Officials expressed concern that weakened immunity and lax nationwide mitigation measures could contribute to a surge in infections and illnesses across the country. They encourage people – especially the elderly – to use energy drinks and wear masks.

Some health experts say the government needs to take bold and clear action.

Dr. Lakshmi Ganapathi, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, says the CDC’s social status guidelines are confusing the public and shouldn’t give a clear picture of how contagious the virus is. virus in a community.

When government officials make recommendations but do not set rules, “it ultimately depends on each individual’s choice and public health choices that are right for them. But that’s not the case. If you’re talking about preventing hospitalizations and even deaths, all of these interventions work better when people do it collectively,” she said.

Walensky adds a comment that might be helpful if someone puts a mask on you at the grocery store: “Anyone can wear a mask at any time.”

Source: Medindia

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