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Progress seen in COVID-19 fight

Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 8:15 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2022 at 10:33 AM CST
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(CNN) - Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all down.

Though progress is being made in the fight against COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t budged on its mask guidance yet.

“We’re going in the right direction,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director.

The U.S. is averaging a little more than 151,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, down 44% since last week.

Hospitalizations are on the way down, too. Nearly 83,000 people are in the hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, a 23% drop from last week.

Deaths from COVID-19 are still high, about 2,300 a day, but that’s still 10% less than last week.

“If we continue to go in this direction, we’ll start to see a lightening up of the mitigations that are going on, which is what we’re all hoping for,” Fauci said.

So why not now? Health experts said it’s all about perspective.

Look at the seven-day moving average of reported deaths. More people are dying now than at any point in the pandemic except last winter.

“As we are encouraged by the current trends, we are not there yet,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many Americans are ready to ditch the masks. Indoor masking requirements are easing up around the country, even against current CDC recommendations.

The agency said, “As always, CDC is regularly reviewing our guidance to ensure we are providing science-based recommendations that are most relevant for each moment of the pandemic. We will communicate any updates on our mask recommendations publicly if and/or when they change.”

There were lots of questions about masking during the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing Wednesday morning.

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