Top U.S. health officials said Wednesday the country is nearing the point where COVID-19 will no longer be a “constant crisis” as more cities, venues and stadiums across the nation begin to lift restrictions. related to the pandemic.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC for its initials in English), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said during a press conference at the White House that the government plans to make changes to its guidelines for the use of masks. In the next weeks.
Emphasizing the recent declines in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, the official acknowledged that “people are anxious” that health authorities relax the requirements for masks and other measures implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus.RELATED
“We all have the same goal, to get to a point where COVID-19 no longer disrupts our daily lives, a time where it’s not a constant crisis, and it’s something we can avoid, protect ourselves from, and take care of.” Walensky stated.
With the omicron variant declining and Americans eager to put the virus behind them, government and business leaders have preempted the CDC and ended containment measures in the past week, with orders for employees to return to offices, eliminating the requirements to wear masks and without requiring proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, stadiums and concert halls.
These measures have been gaining strength every day.
On Wednesday, Philadelphia authorities announced the immediate end of the vaccination requirement in city restaurants, although the mandatory use of masks in closed spaces remains in force for the time being.
At Disney World, vaccinated guests will no longer be required to wear masks at the Florida park starting Thursday. Professional teams, such as the NBA’s Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals, stopped requiring proof of vaccination from their fans.
The most populous county in the state of Washington, in which the city of Seattle is located, announced Wednesday that vaccination status checks will no longer be required to enter restaurants, bars, theaters and gyms starting March 1.
Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said the average daily caseload in Philadelphia has fallen to 189 infections a day in the city of more than 1.5 million people. Bettigole assured that the drop in cases has been more marked in Philadelphia than in any other part of the state or the country, which made it easier to lift the vaccination requirement for restaurants and other establishments, which was announced in mid-December and barely entered into force. force on a large scale this month.
“Our goal has always been to be as non-restrictive as possible when it comes to ensuring safety,” he stated.
In Provincetown, Massachusetts — a coastal town that became a focus of infection due to an outbreak of the delta variant in the middle of last year — authorities on Tuesday withdrew the requirement for the use of masks and vaccinations in closed spaces such as bars and restaurants. . City Manager Alex Morse said the community of about 3,000 people reported no active cases last week, something that hadn’t happened since a spike after Independence Day celebrations.
“We are learning to live together and mitigate the impact of the virus in our community,” Morse stressed.
COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have dropped sharply in the United States, with the average number of new daily cases over the past seven days falling from about 453,000 two weeks ago to about 136,000 as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. . Hospitalizations are at levels similar to those in September, when the United States was emerging from the delta surge. Nearly 65% of Americans are fully vaccinated.