Late summer COVID-19 cases ramping up after months of decline, says CDC

By Brian Ward

After nearly half a year of steady declines, COVID cases are inching back up again, Dr. Brendan Jackson, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, told NPR. However, the numbers are still lower than in prior years and the CDC has no plans to go back to widespread social distancing or masking recommendations again.

"We've seen the early indicators go up for the past several weeks and just this week, for the first time in a long time, we've seen hospitalizations tick up as well," Jackson said. "This could be the start of a late summer wave."

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 jumped 10% for the week ending July 15, according to the CDC, with the greatest increases in the southeast U.S. However, the numbers are very low compared to prior years.

"If you sort of imagine the decline in cases looking like a ski slope — going down, down, down for the last six months — we're just starting to see a little bit of an almost like a little ski jump at the bottom," Jackson says.

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