WASHINGTON — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fall around the country, federal officials are warning states not to relax restrictions on dining out and other social activities that can lead to more spread of the virus.
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“We have yet to control this pandemic,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on Monday. The three waves of infection last year showed that the virus does rebound when people more mobile.
Walensky said she would discourage any idea or move that would relax restrictions on social distancing. The nation is coming down from the wave of infections that began in November and crested in January, but Walensky says the background level of cases remains dangerously high.
White House officials say they are communicating their concerns to state governors and public health departments, but senior adviser Andy Slavitt says it would be counterproductive to detail those conversation in public.
As vaccinations continue throughout the United States, the nation has tracked more than 26 million cases and 460,500 deaths.