(NEW YORK) — Despite promising signs that the curve is flattening in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention delivered grim news on Wednesday.
With over 640,000 confirmed cases in the country with nearly 30,000 worldwide deaths according to Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Robert Redfield of the CDC says a second wave could impact the United States.
“I think we have to assume this is like other respiratory viruses and there will be a seasonality to it,” Redfield said to ABC News. “Until we see it, we don’t know for certain.”
The CDC director added, “I think it’s critical that we plan this virus is likely to follow a seasonality pattern similar to flu, and we’re going to have another battle with it up front and aggressively next winter.”
Redfield urged the nation to ramp up its COVID-19 testing in order to increase early detection and isolate those who are infected to prevent further spread — calling such a measure “block and tackle.”
“The outbreak this year got ahead of that, so we went into full mitigation and we lost the ability to use critical public health tools,” Said Redfield. “We are working hard to augment them now so that, as we get into the next season, we’ll be able to stay in high containment mode while we complement that with some continued mitigation strategies.”
In the meantime, the director encouraged Americans to continue wearing face coverings and to only leave the house for essential matters, like grocery shopping.
In the state of New York, which has emerged as the nation’s epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, has issued an executive order mandating the public cover their mouth and nose when out in public in order to stop the spread of the virus.
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo encouraged other state governors to adopt similar measures.
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