The US could again see 200K Covid-19 cases daily, former CDC director says, as new mask guidance expected


(CNN)The US could see nearly four times the current rate of Covid-19 cases in the next four to six weeks as the Delta variant spreads and the population hits a wall on vaccinations, a former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN.

That warning comes as the CDC is expected to change its masking guidance Tuesday — by recommending that vaccinated people in certain parts of the country resume wearing masks, and that everyone in K-12 schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status — according to sources familiar with the decisions.

“We’re heading into a rough time. It’s likely, if our trajectory is similar to that in the United Kingdom, that we could see as many as 200,000 cases a day,” Dr. Tom Frieden said Monday, adding the US likely won’t see the “horrific death tolls” of earlier in the pandemic thanks to the number of vulnerable people who are vaccinated.

But, he said, “You will see a steady increase in deaths, and these are preventable deaths.”

Cases have jumped as the Delta variant gained in prominence. Every state saw more Covid-19 cases reported in the past week than the week previous, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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