Even as the pace of vaccination from the US nears a heartening 3 million per day, the nation hovers on the edge of a fourth surge, with present instances lingering at a”disturbingly high level,” according to top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.
The present seven-day average of new daily cases has become over 63,000–levels seen at the bottom of the record winter surge. “When you’re at that level, there is the risk of getting a surge back up,” Fauci said in an interview with CNN.
Adding to the precarious position is that the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, initially identified in the UK. It’s currently the predominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the US, Rochelle Walensky (manager of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) stated in a White House Press Briefing Wednesday.
“These trends are pointing to two clear truths,” Walensky said. “One, the virus still has hold on us–infecting people and putting them in harm’s way–and we need to remain vigilant. And, two, we need to continue to accelerate our vaccination efforts.”
Now, many specialists are eyeing Michigan as a possible bellwether for the fate of the rest of the nation. As the version spreads , the country is seeing a spike in cases, hospitalization, and deaths, rivaling numbers seen in the winter summit. The B.1.1.7 version was detected in 46 of their country’s 83 counties.
Michigan’s case prices are up 375 percent since its previous reduced on February 19, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a recent data upgrade . According to the CDC, the country includes a seven-day case speed of 492 each 100,000 individuals , the maximum case rate in the country. Next is New Jersey, using a seven-day-case speed of 328 per 100,000.
Michigan has observed almost 50,000 instances in the past seven daysas well as the highest in the country. It currently has a seven-day rolling average of approximately 7,000 new cases daily, that an 89 percent growth in a week ago, according to tracking by The New York Times.
Hospitalizations are above 3,000 in the state, a )% increase from two weeks ago, and the amount of sufferers filling intensive care units has risen 41 percent just in the last week, according to the MDHHS. State projections estimate that ICU use will exceed that observed in the winter summit by Monday, April 12. MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel told reporters Wednesday that hospitals are now considering implementing their surge plans.
Deaths are also rising today, with average daily deaths about 36. Since a low on March 9, deaths have increased 75 percentage in the state.
The CDC has deployed teams of its public health workers to assist with the statewide surge. “We are working closely with the state of Michigan and the state health officials there,” Walensky said Wednesday. The CDC is helping investigate outbreaks in correctional facilities and youth sports teams. It’s also working to monitor the spread of B.1.1.7 and change the state’s vaccine supply to the hardest-hit places.
Some experts have questioned whether the Biden government should send a surge supply of vaccines to the country to try to head off the variation and the spike in cases. Currently, the federal government largely doles out doses based on each nation and jurisdiction’s population. But last month, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had asked to get a boost in distribution to stop the state’s spike. The White House declined the request, however, according to The Washington Post.
In the press conference Wednesday, Andy Slavitt, a senior White House advisor on the pandemic, told me that, for the time being, the government is mainly adhering to its population-based distribution program.
“We have a long way to go today to get the country to a place where each of our states has reached the number of vaccinations that the population can handle,” Slavitt said. “Clearly, we will get to a place where targeted strategies will work. But right now, I would commit to you that we’re doing both.”