May 5 (UPI) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected Wednesday that COVID-19 cases and deaths will reach another peak in May and July before declining amid rising vaccination rates.
The agency said there’s been an increase in the spread of the novel coronavirus since March due to a greater number of cases of more transmissible variants. The United States reached a peak in the number of daily cases and deaths in January, but the spring peak is expected to be more subdued.
Figures will then decline through September, according to CDC modeling, which took into account various vaccination rates and mitigation levels.
“A sharp decline in cases was projected by July 2021, with a faster decline in the high-vaccination scenarios,” the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said. “High vaccination rates and compliance with public health prevention measures are essential to control the COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent surges in hospitalizations and deaths in the coming months.”
The United States reported 43,626 cases and 750 deaths Tuesday, down from an all-time peak of 312,048 cases and 4,201 deaths in January. Figures underwent a sharp decline after those January peaks as people began to be vaccinated in the United States, bottoming out in March and April. There was a smaller peak in cases in April, topping out at about 81,000.
Vaccination rates have declined since early April as more and more people in the United States become fully vaccinated. As of Wednesday, 44.7% of the population (148.56 million) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 32.3% (107.35 million) are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he wants to have 160 million people fully vaccinated by July 4 and at least one dose administered to 70% of the population by the same date.
With low vaccination rates and low mitigation efforts, the CDC said new weekly cases could reach about 800,000, while with high vaccination rates and moderate mitigation efforts, the rate could reach just above 500,000 before the sharp July decline.
Weekly hospitalization rates could reach about 50,000 with low vaccination and mitigation, or just above 30,000 with high vaccination and moderate mitigation.
And with deaths, weekly figures could reach about 12,000 with low vaccination and mitigation, and about 7,500 with high vaccination and moderate mitigation.