University of Nebraska Medical Center

Not Over Yet: Late-Summer Covid Wave Brings Warning of More to Come

NYT Hospitalizations are still low but have been rising in recent weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A late-summer wave of coronavirus infections has touched schools, workplaces and local government, as experts warn the public to brace for even more Covid-19 spread this fall and winter.

Hospitalizations have increased 24 percent in a two-week period ending Aug. 12, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wastewater monitoring suggests a recent rise in Covid infections in the West and Northeast. In communities across the United States, outbreaks have occurred in recent weeks at preschools, summer camps and office buildings.

Public health officials said that the latest increase in Covid hospitalizations is still relatively small and that the vast majority of the sick are experiencing mild symptoms comparable to a cold or the flu. And most Americans, more than three months after the Biden administration allowed the 2020 declaration calling the coronavirus a public health emergency to expire, have shown little willingness to return to the days of frequent testing, mask-wearing and isolation. But for Americans who have become accustomed to feeling that the nation has moved beyond Covid, the current wave could be a rude reminder that the emerging New Normal is not a world without the virus. “We’re in almost the best place we’ve been in the pandemic since it began,” said Michael T. Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “But we are caught in the very uncomfortable area of having left the fog of the pandemic war and trying to understand what the sunrise on a normal post-Covid world looks like.”

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