US experts warn of Covid surge from Memorial Day weekend gatherings

by IANS |

Los Angeles, May 31 (IANS) As the United States marks the Memorial Day and celebrates the unofficial start of summer, the seven-day average for Covid-19 cases in the country is more than six times what it was a year ago.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported a seven-day average of 119,725 Covid-19 cases as of Saturday. That figure held at 17,887 cases on May 28, 2021, Xinhua news agency reported.

During the three-day holiday weekend, one of the country's traditionally busiest travel periods, more than 39 million Americans are expected to take to the skies and roads, according to estimates by the American Automobile Association.

Experts are predicting a sharp rise in new infections after Memorial Day weekend travels and gatherings.

In recent weeks, confirmed daily cases in the US have been rising again, powered by a rising tide of Omicron subvariants currently circulating the country.

The US is averaging about 110,000 new cases each day, according to data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts believe the real count of cases is much higher as many were underreported due to at-home Covid-19 tests.

While new deaths are relatively low, the total known US deaths from Covid-19 recently surpassed 1 million.

The Omicron subvariants are spreading rapidly across the US as many of the country's pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

Health officials said the US is in the midst of yet another COVID-19 wave. They have warned Americans to exercise caution ahead of a possible surge.

"Anyone who has not been boosted for their vaccinations should really start thinking about those boosters right now," said Jill Roberts, Associate professor for the University of South Florida College of Public Health.

Health officials have urged people to take precautions to help limit the spread during Memorial Day holidays, wearing masks when inside public spaces and practicing social distancing.

"The one tool that a lot of us have not been doing anymore is really distancing," Roberts added.

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