Some not great news from the CDC director: CDC director warns decline in COVID-19 cases ‘may be stalling’ in ‘concerning shift’

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky warned Friday that recent declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths “may be stalling,” calling the trends a “very concerning shift.”

CDC data shows the number of new cases has declined dramatically in recent weeks, from a peak of about 250,000 per day in mid-January to about 60,000 per day.

But now after weeks of falling, the number of new cases has started ticking back up in recent days, and are still at a very high level overall, at about 66,000 new cases per day.

“The latest data suggest that these declines may be stalling, potentially leveling off at still a very high number,” Walensky said during a White House briefing. “We at CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory.”

Several states have been relaxing restrictions in areas like restaurant capacity, and in some cases mask mandates. Walensky urged states not to lift restrictions, without naming any in particular.

“Things are tenuous,” she said. “Now is not the time to relax restrictions.”

Hope on the horizon, though: Overall, officials said that with vaccinations on the rise, now is not the time to let up on restrictions and taking precautions like wearing a mask and distancing from others, but vaccines could be much more widely available by the spring, helping to more permanently suppress the pandemic.