The decrease in COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continues in the U.S.
It seems the U.S. is heading toward its most normal summer since the emersion of COVID-19 as the pandemic continues to wane nationally.
Daily new cases of COVID-19 infection in the U.S. have steadily decreased. During the first week of April, it has dropped to a seven-day average of less than 27,000. In mid-January, at the height of the Omicron surge, daily new cases of COVID-19 infection were more than 800,000.
Today, fewer than 13,000 people are hospitalized all over the country, compared to almost 140,000 in mid-January.
The daily death rate from COVID-19, having been more than 3,000 in early February, has fallen to below 500 today.
What do experts think of the decrease in COVID-19 cases?
Dr. David Dowdy, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland says that in the terms of cases and deaths, we have come a long way. He says the number of hospitalized people is at the lowest point since March 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 began. Dr. Dowdy added that we can say deaths, still falling, are at the lowest point and the numbers are being cut in half about every two weeks.
Dr. Dowdy says we are not done with the COVID, but the numbers are certainly being moved in the right direction. He expects to see the trend line continue, and believes people have a much better summer compared to the last two years.
The fact that the United States is enjoying an extremely high level of immunity against COVID-19 at the moment, supports his prediction.
According to CDC, the reason behind this decrease in COVID-19 cases could be the fact that almost 82 percent of the American population over age 5 had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 70 percent of people are fully vaccinated, half of which have received one or more vaccine booster shots.
Having the widespread infections with the highly contagious Omicron variant in mind, Dowdy believes that more than 95 percent of people in the U.S. have some degree of natural immunity against the disease. He noted that most unvaccinated people have been already infected.
Dr. Lundstrom, an infectious disease specialist, and chief medical officer at Trinity Health believes the same.
He says that there are no more non-immune people for Omicron to infect.
Will this decrease in COVID-19 Cases be the end of the disease?
Despite the promising numbers, experts emphasize that they can’t guarantee that another COVID surge won’t occur.
As an example, the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron has become the dominant strain of COVID in the U.S., having been linked to a slight increase in cases in the Northeast.
Daniel Parker, an assistant professor of population health and disease prevention at the University of California Irvine’s Program in Public Health says that we are seeing increases in the ratios of cases attributed to BA.2 subvariant of Omicron. He says it is hard to predict if this means another surge of cases will occur. The BA.2 variant is very transmissible, but it also is closely related to other variants of Omicron, which was the cause of this very recent surge.
Dr. Thomas Kenyon, chief health officer at Project Hope and former head of the CDC’s Center for Global Health, says that despite the decrease in COVID-19 cases we shouldn’t forget that still almost 500 Americans are being killed every day due to COVID-19.
He also said that although the country may have a respite from the pandemic at the moment, we should continue to be alert as we have learned the hard way that the COVID-19 pandemic’s dynamics can rapidly change.
According to experts, COVID-19 is transitioning from a global pandemic to an endemic disease like influenza and it may cause new variants to emerge periodically. This results in the need for renewed public-health campaigns. These campaigns may possibly include steps like bringing back mask mandates and physical distancing requirements that are not necessary to carry out across the country.
Dr. David Margolis, the vice president and head of infectious diseases at Brii Biosciences thinks that as it is now happening in the U.K. and some parts of Asia, the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron can have a risk for further spikes in transmission in the United States. He added that we probably continue seeing a low but steady baseline transmission rate, which can be seen as variable surges for many coming months or even years.