Wait and see? Cautious optimism as COVID-19 cases decline across US


A member of the medical staff puts on an extra pair of gloves in the COVID-19 ICU unit of the Marius Nasta National Pneumology Institute in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Daily new coronavirus infections in Romania, a country of 19 million, have grown exponentially over the last month, while vaccine uptake has declined to worrying lows. Government data shows that 91.5% of COVID-19 deaths in Romania between Sept. 18-23 were people who had not been vaccinated. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — With COVID-19 cases trending downward nationally, could Americans be in for a more conventional holiday season compared to last year?

Health experts say it’s too soon to tell, but they are warning that whether Americans can gather more safely this holiday season largely depends on what we do right now.

Right now, daily COVID-19 deaths are averaging about 1,900 a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases have started to fall from their highs in September, from about 160,000 cases to about 103,000 cases per day. But there is fear that the situation could worsen in the winter months when colder weather drives people inside and into closer proximity with each other.

Health experts say that the key to getting out of the pandemic is still vaccinations. But despite the vaccines being readily available to all Americans for nearly six months, an estimated 70 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated.

This also comes as the Biden administration is pushing for booster shots for Americans already fully vaccinated.

There is some good news when it comes to beating the pandemic. This week, Johnson & Johnson is asking the FDA to give emergency use authorization for its booster shot. Moderna is still waiting on approval for its vaccine, which is approved via an Emergency Use Authorization.

Across the nation, more corporations and agencies are adopting vaccine mandates, especially since Pfizer’s vaccine now has the FDA’s full approval.

The latest mandate comes from the U.S. Department of Defense, which is requiring all department civilian employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22.

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