Medical workers wheel a patient into the emergency room at Maimonides Medical Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York, United States, March 8, 2021.
Michael Nagle | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
Covid-19 cases will likely surge again in the U.S. as the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant takes hold across the country, peaking in May before sharply declining by July, according to new data released Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The rise in Covid cases is expected as states relax pandemic prevention strategies for businesses, large-scale gatherings and schools and the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K., spreads more rapidly throughout the country, the CDC said in the report.
The agency projected the trajectory of the pandemic based on four different scenarios of vaccination rates and state reopenings. While the case numbers differed in each scenario, the general direction of the outbreak remained mostly the same in all four forecasts with cases surging in May before falling in July.
While Covid cases are expected to increase this month, hospitalizations and deaths will likely remain low nationally, the U.S. agency said, with cases expected to plummet by July as more Americans get vaccinated against the virus.
High vaccination coverage and compliance with pandemic safety measures “are essential to control COVID-19 and prevent surges in hospitalizations and deaths in the coming months,” federal health officials wrote in the report.
The new data comes just ahead of Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays. President Joe Biden has said he hopes to see enough Americans vaccinated by Independence Day to safely hold small outdoor gatherings.
On Tuesday, Biden announced his administration’s latest goals in the fight against the coronavirus: getting 70% of U.S. adults to receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and having 160 million adults fully vaccinated by July 4.
The CDC used data from the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, which developed six models to assess the potential course of Covid-19 in the U.S. across four scenarios. Researchers took into consideration vaccination rates and the implementation of policies such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.