The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday warned it’s not the time to relax COVID-19 mitigation efforts, but rather is the time to “double down.”
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the nation is “nowhere out of the woods” in the pandemic.
“We still have 100,000 cases a day,” she said. “We still have somewhere between 1,500 and 3,500 deaths per day. And yet we see some communities relaxing some of their mitigation strategies.”
According to Walensky, “if we relax these mitigation strategies with increasing transmissible variants out there, we could be in a much more difficult spot.”
“So what I would say is now is the time to not let up our guard. Now is the time to double down, still with 100,000 cases a day, still with over two and a half times the cases we had over the summer,” she insisted.
Walensky said although the current vaccines offered in the United States are protective against the virus variant from Britain, the United States is still “scaling up different vaccines” to deal with it.
“What we know now is the — the major variant that's circulating here in the United States is B117 … the one that came from the U.K. We know in the lab that the current vaccines actually work quite well against B117.
“We're doing the science to scale up different vaccines in case we either need bivalent vaccines, that is a vaccine that has two different strains, or booster vaccines. Both are happening,” she added.
Walensky also defended the reopening of schools, asserting most COVID-19 transmission doesn’t happen inside schools.
“It comes in from the community,” she said. “There's very limited transmission between students, between students and staff, really, mostly between staff to staff when there are breaches in mask wearing.”
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