Slowly but surely, new cases of COVID-19 have been gradually dropping.
Experts say we’re not out of the woods just yet, but before the end of the year we could see this latest surge finally subside.
Here’s what health experts expect over the next couple months.
“Every morning, I come in and go through every COVID patient, determine who’s on ventilators. I have to report the deaths. You know, unfortunately, it’s a daily event,” said Dr. Robert Jansen, chief medical officer at Grady Health System in Atlanta.
Hospitals all over the country are straining against COVID-19.
Deaths are on the rise even as new cases decline, but, experts say, don’t let the case count fool you, delta isn’t done.
“I’m not at all convinced the delta surge has peaked in the U.S.,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, associate dean at Brown University School of Public Health. “I fully expect case counts to go up again across the country over the weeks and months to come.”
According to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA Commissioner and Pfizer board member, “This delta wave is going to surge across the country and hit different regions at different times. This may be the last major wave of infection. I think by Thanksgiving you’ll have seen this move its way through the country. The virus isn’t going away, but prevalence levels will decline to a level that feels more manageable.”
But what exactly does manageable mean?
We were seeing a seven-day average of up to 160,000 cases a day at the peak of the surge. Right now, the CDC says that average is closer to 114,000 new cases a day and Gottlieb expects we’ll eventually drop down to about 20,000 cases a day.
But getting there depends on more people getting vaccinated.
Gottlieb said, “There’s still of pockets of vulnerability and COVID is so contagious it finds its way in to those pockets of vulnerability.”