Story at a glance
- Several states have seen new cases of COVID-19 variants, including the Brazil and South African mutations.
- States including Florida, Michigan and Texas have all seen increases in cases of COVID-19 variants, ranging from more than 100 to more than 600.
The recent success the U.S. has had with reducing new COVID-19 cases could be thwarted with the rise in new cases of one of the new COVID-19 variants, with USA Today reporting that the country saw 306 new coronavirus variant cases on Sunday, a record uptick.
States including Florida, Michigan and Texas have all seen increases in cases of COVID-19 variants, ranging from more than 100 to around 600.
Specifically, Florida has four cases of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant, denoted as P.1, as well as one new case of the South African COVID-19 variant, known as B.1.351.
Prior to these occurrences, most COVID-19 variants were the United Kingdom version, otherwise known as B.1.1.7.
Despite this threat, some states are relaxing public health protocols, a decision that could completely undermine the decline in new cases, experts warn.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky noted that she was “deeply concerned” as some states, including Texas, Iowa, Virginia, Florida and Mississippi, are relaxing public health restrictions.
"We cannot be resigned to 70,000 cases per day, 2,000 daily deaths," she said, citing record numbers hit during outbreaks in both July and October.
National data indicate that the two-week average for new cases has fallen by 21 percent, with deaths and hospitalizations showing declines as well. The current number of new cases as of Feb. 28 in the U.S. was 50,925.