As Germany joins the growing list of EU nations expanding or reinstating lockdown measures, the US is eyeing Europe’s “third wave” nervously, especially as genetic sequencing has uncovered new fast-spreading mutant strains in the US, while also revealing that strains first isolated in the UK and South Africa have also come to dominate newly diagnosed cases in some of the largest states.
Meanwhile, the latest data from the CDC show the number of newly confirmed COVID cases in the US increased by 1% last week, yet another troubling sign that the dramatic slowdown in the pace of the pandemic might itself be running out of steam. Some are looking at places like Texas and Florida and insisting that the rollback of certain restrictions was to blame.
Across the US, an average of 54,308 new cases per day was logged over the past week, a rise from the prior week after months of rapidly declining case numbers.
What’s even more concerning: 27 states saw increases of more than 5%, even as the US appears on track to beat President Biden’s target as it reaches 2.5MM vaccinations per day.
The numbers arrive as NJ Gov Phil Murphy announces that he will pause the Garden State’s reopening just after raising indoor dining capacity (as well as capacity at gyms and other ‘recreational’ facilities) to 50%. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do the same in NY (though we wouldn’t be surprised to see Cuomo’s political priorities get in the way).
After announcing plans to open vaccine access to those 50 and up, Cuomo said he has no plans to increase restaurant capacity.
h/t Fugazi World