The number of new U.S. coronavirus cases has fallen below 100,000 in recent days, but a health official warned Sunday the pandemic is far from under control.
The United States, with more reported COVID-19 deaths and more infections than any other country, had been recording more than 200,000 new cases a day in December, and the figure swelled to about 250,000 daily in January, according to Johns Hopkins University.
On Friday and Saturday, however, the number of new cases dipped below 100,000 each day.
Still, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the latest figures, including 1,500 to 3,500 more deaths a day, are 2 ½ times the figures the country was recording last summer.
She told NBC’s “Meet the Press” show, "It's encouraging to see these trends coming down, but they're coming down from an extraordinarily high place."
Walensky said new coronavirus variants detected in other countries and now the United States are likely to lead to more cases and more deaths.
"We can't let our guard down," she said. "We have to continue wearing masks. We have to continue with our current mitigation measures. And we have to continue getting vaccinated as soon as that vaccine is available to us."
The U.S. has recorded more than 27.6 million virus cases and more than 484,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins data.