Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told CNN on Wednesday: “We have a high percentage of variants, which means that the coronavirus is spreading faster.” “These are more infectious, and we are watching. So, whether it’s the youth movement or the re-participation of some of our restaurants.”
New Jersey officials also noticed the B.1.1.7 variant because they reported an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations, and warned that this number may continue into the summer.
State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli (Judy Persichilli) said on Wednesday: “People believe that the main reason for the rise in cases is more contagious variants, such as the British B.117 variant, plus a reduction in cautious behavior.”
Persichilli said that in the past two weeks, the number of new hospitalizations has increased by 28% to more than 2,300 residents. Between the first and last week of March, the number of hospitalizations in the 20-29 and 40-49 age brackets increased by 31% and 48%, respectively. She added that at the same time, elderly residents have only seen single-digit percentage growth.
In Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh is implementing a shelter-in-place in response to the increase in cases among students and concerns about whether there is a B.1.1.7 variant on campus and surrounding areas.
An official e-mail from the university said: “It is extremely worrying that since last weekend, the number of positive cases has increased because of the number of students in our dormitory.”
Fauci: “Stay there longer”
The good news: The vaccines being used across the United States seem to protect people from the B.1.1.7 variant very well.
However, only 16.4% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, and a large part of the population is still susceptible to the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said: “We are vaccinating about 3 million people every day. We are getting closer and closer every day and we are getting a greater degree of protection. So now is not the time to back down and declare premature victory.” TV News Network on Wednesday.
He said: “I stayed there longer.” “Just wait a little bit and continue to take public health measures, and then when the vaccine is protected to a greater degree, we can retreat.”
But the governor and local officials continue to announce restrictions, including several orders to remove masks.
A spokesperson for the governor of Arkansas told CNN that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Tuesday that he is canceling the statewide mask mission, and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey will continue to end the mission next week. State mask mission plan.
Millions of Americans are eligible for the vaccine
Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is the only vaccine available to people 16 years and older, while Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only for people 18 years and older.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Wednesday that everyone 16 years of age and older will be eligible to be vaccinated starting Monday.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said the changes were made to comply with FEMA vaccination location regulations and accommodate those college students who do not live in the state and those living with many others who may not have proof of residence.
Box said: “We tend to live in Indiana, and the people who work in Indiana are the people who come and get vaccinated here, because we do distribute vaccines based on population, but what we have to do is remove any barriers,” Box Say. .
New cases in nursing homes dropped by 96%
However, the vaccine is already working.
According to analysis by the American Health Care Association and the National Assisted Living Center (AHCA/NCAL), since the vaccine came out in December, new Covid-19 cases in nursing homes have fallen by 96%.
The report stated that as of March 7, the country’s nursing homes had the lowest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths each week, since the Medicare and Medicaid Service Centers started tracking them.
By the same day, the number of virus-related deaths in nursing homes had fallen by 91% since December.
Parkinson added: “This trend shows that when long-term care is prioritized, as with national vaccination, we can protect the vulnerable elderly population.”
CNN’s Naomi Thomas, Jen Christensen, Anjali Huynh, Alec Snyder, Rebekah Riess, Ganesh Setty and Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report.