The top federal COVID-19 tracking team says key pandemic intensity indicators improved last week.
The U.S. death rate increased slightly, but the number of new cases fell, and the percentage of people tested who actually had the virus that causes COVID-19 also fell, according to the White House COVID-19 Team Data Strategy and Execution Workgroup.
The team includes representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Digital Service and other federal agencies.
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Top White House pandemic advisors, including Jeff Zients, the current head of the White House pandemic team, said Wednesday, during a press conference that was streamed live on the web that they’re worried about the possibility that extra-contagious variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) — the virus that causes COVID-19 — could make the situation in the United States worse.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said scientists are looking into whether people should respond to the threat of new variants by wearing one mask over another mask when they go out in public.
But, for now, the third big U.S. COVID-19 wave appears to be coming down from the wave that crested a few weeks ago.