Story at a glance
- An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday mitigation efforts like those implemented in March may be needed again.
- States such as Utah and Oregon had to delay phased reopening plans after a spike in cases.
- Meanwhile, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama have recorded their largest single-day increase in cases this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday strict social distancing measures that were put in place in March may have to be implemented again if coronavirus cases in the U.S. rise dramatically, CNBC reports.
“Right now, communities are experiencing different levels of transmission occurring, as they gradually ease up onto the community mitigation efforts and gradually reopen,” Jay Butler, CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, told reporters Friday.
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“If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” Butler said. It’s not clear what is considered a dramatic rise.
Butler emphasized that the pandemic is not over, and said the decision to put measures in place will have to be made at the local level based on what’s happening in communities regarding disease transmission.
About half a dozen states are seeing increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, and at least 20 states have experienced increases in case rates. States such as Utah and Oregon had to delay phased reopening plans after a spike in cases. Meanwhile, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama have recorded their largest single-day increase in cases this week.
The rise in cases comes as all states have begun rolling back restrictions. Crowds were also seen gathering for Memorial Day and large-scale protests over the death of George Floyd brought thousands of people together in close quarters all across the country.
The coronavirus has infected more than 2 million Americans and killed more than 113,000 since the first case was confirmed in the U.S. less than five months ago.
The CDC also updated its national state-by-state forecasts for the number of fatalities expected as a result of COVID-19. The agency says it expects between 124,000 and 140,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. by July 4.
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