space traveling warriors tier list : Pandemic-weary Americans Plan Summer Trips Despite COVID Outbreak

A high school prom in Hawaii where masked dancers couldn’t play. A return to virtual city council meetings in a Colorado town after the mayor and others tested positive after an in-person session. A mask mandate reinstated at qualified nursing facilities in Los Angeles County after 22 new outbreaks in a single week.

An outbreak of COVID-19 is underway and is starting to cause disruption as the school year ends and Americans prepare for summer vacation.

Many people, however, have returned to their pre-pandemic routines and plans, which often involve travel.

The case count is as high as it has been since mid-February and those numbers are likely to be a large undercount because of unreported positive home test results and asymptomatic infections.

Hawaii Department of Health

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Hawaii COVID-19 data from the Hawaii Department of Health as of May 25, 2022.

Earlier this month, an influential modeling group at the University of Washington in Seattle estimated that only 13% of cases were being reported to US health officials.

Hospitalizations have also increased, and more than a third of the US population lives in areas deemed high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Northeast was the hardest hit.

However, vaccinations have stagnated and elected officials across the country appear reluctant to impose new restrictions on a public that is ready to move on, even with the US death toll. surpassed 1 million people less than 2 1/2 years to the outbreak.

“People are probably underestimating the prevalence of COVID,” said Crystal Watson, public health lead for the Coronavirus Resource Center at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “I think there are a lot more viruses out there than we recognize and therefore people are much, much more likely than they realize to be exposed and infected.”

A key metric for the pandemic — the seven-day moving average for new daily U.S. cases — has skyrocketed in the past two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The number was around 76,000 on May 9 and jumped to nearly 109,000 on Monday.

That was the highest since mid-February, when the omicron-powered wave was slowing.

Deaths are still on the decline and hospital intensive care units are not as crowded as they were at other times of the pandemic, likely because vaccinations and immunity from people who have already had the disease are keeping many cases less severe.

“The nature of the disease has changed. Two years ago, I was seeing a steady stream of severe pneumonia cases. We are now in a situation where people should be able to avoid this outcome by taking advantage of vaccines, pre-exposure prophylaxis (for high risk), and early antiviral therapy,” Dr. Jonathan Dworkin, an infectious disease clinician in Hawaii, said via email.

In Hawaii, which once had one of the lowest rates of infection, hospitalization and death in the country, new cases are emerging among the state’s 1.4 million people. The University of Hawaii once again requires masks indoors on its 10-campus system.

With cases rising for eight straight weeks, Hawaii has the second highest infection rate of any state, behind Rhode Island. But since positive home test results are not counted in official data, the Hawaii Department of Health estimates the case count to be five or six times higher.

Despite the increase, visitors have been flocking to Hawaii’s beaches, especially in recent months.

Yaling Fisher, owner of Hawai’i Aloha Travel, said bookings for the islands did not decrease during the increase. On the contrary, they increased.

“Even now we’re still busy,” she said. “We see no cancellations.”

Samantha Hanberg, who was in Hawaii this week with her newlywed husband, said the couple left their masks at home in California when they went on vacation. She said she contracted COVID-19 early in the pandemic and was later fully vaccinated, so she feels safe too.

“No one wants to get sick, but it’s definitely not at the forefront of my thought process anymore,” she said, eating ice on Waikīkī beach. “I’m at the point now where I just want to get back to living and enjoying life and not being so worried.”

Authorities initially shut down Hawaii’s tourism industry, requiring all passengers to go into quarantine. They switched to a testing requirement and then a vaccination waiver before dropping all restrictions in March.

Hawaii was the last state in the country to abandon its mask mandate, though it remains the only state to require all public school students to wear masks indoors — a rule that will remain in effect throughout the summer and possibly into next. school year.

Nearly two years after California Governor Gavin Newsom imposed the first statewide stay-at-home order, the state formally switched to an “endemic” approach in February. Like Hawaii and many other states, its weekly infection rate has increased dramatically in recent times.

The new wave prompted Pacific Grove and Berkeley school districts to reinstate their indoor mask mandates, while an outbreak at a Northern California long-term health facility sickened 26 residents and 10 staff. until Monday.

Some northeast school districts have also revived their mask mandates, including those in Philadelphia and Providence, Rhode Island.

However, New York which was once the epicenter of the USA of the pandemic, it doesn’t seem likely to follow suit. The city is dealing with another spike in cases, but Mayor Eric Adams has ruled out the possibility of bringing back a citywide mask-wearing mandate unless hospitals are flooded again.

The city’s school district has abandoned its practice of closing classrooms if multiple students test positive, only recommends wearing masks, and has even dropped its requirement that students need to be vaccinated to attend the dance.

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