CDC chief warns of another outbreak of Covid as Americans travel for spring break

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CDC chief warns of another outbreak of Covid as Americans travel for spring break


Passengers arrive for American Airlines flights at O’Hare International Airport on February 5, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
The United States could see yet another coronavirus outbreak – even as Covid-19 vaccinations increase rapidly across the country – as states relax restrictions and more Americans travel for spring break , warned the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday.
“With the warmer weather ahead, I know it’s tempting to want to relax and let your guard down, especially after a harsh winter which unfortunately saw the highest level of cases and deaths during the pandemic at this time. day, ”Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC said during a press briefing.

The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, screened more than 1.34 million people on Sunday, 86,000 more than the same day a year ago just after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 was a pandemic.

TSA projections have passed 1 million every day since Thursday, the highest volumes in a year. With air travel far from 2019 levels, more Americans are returning to the skies despite CDC advice warning against non-essential travel, even for those who are fully vaccinated.
Even though many colleges in the United States have cut their spring break in an effort to fight the holidays and infection, senior officials in the Biden administration are still concerned about travelers who are “taking advantage of the spring break festivities, without a mask, ”Walensky said.

“I beg you, for the sake of the health of our nation,” Walensky said at Monday’s briefing. “The cases climbed last spring, they climbed again in the summer, they will go up now if we stop taking precautions as we continue to vaccinate more and more people.

Even with a drop in infections and a rapidly expanding vaccine rollout, the United States continues to report a dangerously high base of daily cases that could rise if Americans let their guard down, senior Biden health officials have warned. According to the CDC, some 37.5 million people in the United States, or about 11% of the population, are fully vaccinated.

The United States has come a long way since early January, when it peaked at just over 250,000 new cases per day, based on a weekly average. The country is now reporting a daily average of 53,670 new infections over the past week, a 10% drop from a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

– Leslie Josephs of CNBC and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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