Across the country, everyone from governors to business owners are asking "What's next?" as states record falling COVID-19 cases and more Americans are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
But despite the progress, White House Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci, MD, warned this weekend that indoor masking may be required until daily case counts fall well below the average 43,000 currently seen across the country.
"As you get more people vaccinated, the number of cases per day will absolutely go down. We're averaging about 43,000 a day. We’ve got to get it much, much lower than that. When that gets lower, the risk of any infection indoor or outdoor diminishes dramatically," Fauci said on "This Week."
Twenty-two states still require masks indoors, according to the New York Times.
The United States reported 21,392 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and 238 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In total, the country has confirmed 32,725,013 cases of COVID-19, including 581,939 deaths.
CDC: 44% of all adults fully vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker shows that 329,843,825 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the United States, and 261,599,381 have been administered, with 115,530,780 Americans fully vaccinated.
A total of 71.5% of all Americans 65 and older are fully vaccinated, as are 44.3% of Americans 18 and older. And nearly 60% of those over 18 have had at least one dose of vaccine.
In an effort to encourage more vaccine uptake, the Biden administration is pushing for more vaccine availability at doctors' offices. Physicians have largely been left out of the vaccination campaign this far, Politico reports, but vaccines have been shipped in quantities most offices are not equipped to handle or store.
The administration says making vaccines widely available at doctors' offices is the next step in ensuring that 70% of the adult population is vaccinated by Jul 1.
Other US developments
- A California bar owner has been arrested for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in what's believed to be the first thwarted scheme of its kind, NPR reports.
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says the state is considering paying people to get vaccinated, according to Fox News. The state is aiming to have 70% of adults vaccinated by the end of June.
- A new report shared with USA Today suggests that the nation's leading social media companies, with the exception of Facebook, are losing the battle against COVID-19 disinformation. Debunked claims about vaccines are circulating widely on Twitter and TikTok.