Coronavirus Cases Decline but New Variants Emerge

Things are looking up for the United States as the number of cases of Covid-19 have begun to decline in 48 states, and the rate of vaccinations has improved across the entire country. 

The decrease in cases along with the improvement of ICU capacity has even led to the stay-at-home order being lifted for the state of California, one of the nation’s hotspots for the last few weeks. Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of California Health and Human Services, says that California is starting to make its way out of the deadly surge and is coming to “the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for.” 

However, the US is still averaging 170,000 new cases of Covid-19 each day, and the fate of the mutated versions of the virus remains unknown. One variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom is especially transmissible, and the CDC warns that this B.1.1.7 strain could spread rapidly across the US. Another variant has originated in South Africa and made its way to 20 other countries, excluding the United States. 

In response, President Biden has placed a ban on non-U.S. citizens attempting to enter the country from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and 26 other countries in Europe. The new president has also put forth a vaccine plan that may slow the amount of new vaccines while increasing the amount of follow-up vaccinations. Moderna, the company responsible for one of the leading Covid-19 vaccines, has also begun working on vaccines with higher efficacy against mutated strains of the virus.

According to John Hopkins University, over 419,000 have died due to Covid-19 and this pandemic is far from over, but experts and officials are working to slow the spread of coronavirus along with its mutated variants. Nevertheless, this is not the time to let up on your perfect pandemic routine; keep wearing (clean) masks, wash your hands frequently, and stay home when possible.

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