‘Turning the Corner’: U.S. Covid Outlook Reaches Most Hopeful Point Yet – The New York Times

In parts of New York City, mask wearing has been ubiquitous throughout the pandemic. But even there, the scene is shifting amidst C.D.C. suggestions that completely vaccinated Americans no longer need to use a mask outdoors when alone or in small groups; on recent bright days, big crowds have actually gathered to Central Park, and increasingly more, individuals are going maskless along sidewalks.New infections in New York fell by two-thirds in the past month, dipping to around 1,200 new cases a day. Citywide, the number of people hospitalized with the virus just recently dropped to below 100. With 40 percent of adult New Yorkers totally immunized, the city is barreling toward a full reopening. Beginning May 19, restaurants, museums, theaters and stores will be permitted to return to near full capability for the very first time since the pandemic started, and tickets for fall Broadway shows will go on sale this week.Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious-disease specialist and clinical professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeleys School of Public Health, said he was optimistic in the brief term, with vaccinations continuing and warm weather drawing Americans outdoors.But he said that he was stressed over the infections existing course of devastation through India and Latin America, which he wondered if the United States was opening up too quickly, with 50,000 brand-new cases still reported each day. (One year earlier, the day-to-day cases were half that number.)”There is a randomness to the way this virus has spread out,” he stated. “It flares in one place. It does not advance smoothly through the entire country and whole world. The randomness is what makes me feel insecure.”In one example of that, Washington State has seen increasing case numbers and hospitalizations in current weeks, despite increasing vaccination numbers and limitations that have actually left restaurants and other companies operating at 50 percent capability in much of the state.

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