Spike in COVID-19 cases unlikely after holiday weekend, CDC director says

As U.S. COVID-19 infections drop and vaccination rates rise, the CDC director said vaccinated Americans can safely gather to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. 

"If you are vaccinated, you are protected and can enjoy your Memorial Day," Rochelle Walensky, MD, CDC director, said during a May 25 White House COVID-19 response team briefing, emphasizing that guidance has not changed for people who are unvaccinated. 

"You remain at risk of infection. You still need to mask and take other precautions," Dr. Walensky added. 

More than 131 million Americans, or nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population, were fully vaccinated as of May 25, while nearly half of Americans had received at least one shot. WIth those numbers, a spike in COVID-19 cases is unlikely to follow the holiday weekend, Dr. Walensky said. 

"We have seen after holiday weekends in the past that cases have risen, but we've never been in a position where we've had almost, or half the adults of America vaccinated and protected from this virus," she said. 

Dr. Walensky also pointed to a drop in infections. The current seven day average is 22,877 cases per day, marking a 25 percent decrease from the week prior. Hospitalization rates and deaths have also decreased. 

"We are continuing to watch these data closely and I remain cautious, but hopeful they will continue to trend downward as vaccination scales up," she said.


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