MONDAY, April 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Rising numbers of COVID-19 infections in the United States are not surprising and not yet a cause for alarm, Anthony Fauci, M.D., the nation's top infectious doctor, said Sunday.
There are an average of 31,000 new cases a day nationwide, a 3 percent increase from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times database. However, some areas have had much larger increases, including New York City, where cases have spiked nearly 50 percent during the past two weeks but still remain far lower than the peaks seen during the winter omicron surge. A smaller surge of COVID-19 infections swept through Washington, D.C., in the past week. Dozens of politicians and government officials have tested positive after attending the Gridiron Club and Foundation annual dinner on April 2, The Times reported.
The spread of the highly transmissible omicron subvariant BA.2 and the easing of mask mandates and other social distancing measures means the surge in cases "is not unexpected -- that you're going to see an uptick when you pull back on the mitigation methods," Fauci told ABC's "This Week." Fauci added that COVID-19 is "not going to be eradicated, and it's not going to be eliminated. And what's going to happen is that we're going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take in going to indoor dinners and in going to functions."
Fauci did point out that CDC data show low community levels of COVID-19 in most areas of the country, and he is hopeful there will not be a rise in hospitalizations or deaths, The Times reported.
"If we do start seeing an uptick, particularly of hospitalizations, we may need to revert back to being more careful and having more utilizations of masks indoors," Fauci said. He encouraged all eligible people to get vaccinated and boosted, and added that he hoped that Congress would soon pass a $10 billion COVID-19 relief bill that would provide more funding for vaccines, testing, and treatments, The Times reported.