Coronavirus | Health officials warn of another wave of COVID - 19 infections

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Coronavirus | Health officials warn of another wave of COVID - 19 infections

As the number of U.S. COVID- 19 cases increase, health officials warn about another wave of the pandemic.

I am concerned, said Dr. Jay Schnitzer, MITRE Corporation chief medical officer and chief technology officer referring to the uptick in cases and another possible resurgence. We are now in a race between variants and vaccines.

The U.S. reported more than 66,000 new cases of COVID- 19 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, as the daily average of 7 days rose to nearly 67,000. That's up from the 14-day average of 60,000, the fact that it is moving up and driven at least in part by the variants is of concern, said Schnitzer.

I 'm not only worried about the next three or four or five variants we know today, but I 'm equally worried about the next three we do n't even know about yet. This we need to get this under control as soon as possible in order to prevent the next round of variants which could be worse. - British variant becomes `` US variant in many regions ``.

The more recent variants are partly behind the contagious rise in COVID 19 cases.

Health officials have warned the fast-spreading UK variant, known as B.

1.1.

7, is becoming the predominant strain across the U.S. During a White House news briefing this week, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters that strain now accounts for 26% of all COVID 19 cases sequenced nationwide.

With new variants spreading at a fast rate, Schnitzer is encouraging people to continue to wear masks, social distance and practice good hygiene until enough Americans are vaccinated to reduce this risk. If not, we 'll see cases go up.

As of Thursday, more than 99 million Americans, about 30% of the population, received at least one vaccine dose according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Meanwhile, 56 million Americans are fully vaccinated, approximately 17% of the population.

As states expand the COVID-19 eligibility, companies are beginning to bring employees back to the office.

This week Microsoft told its U.S. employees that some workers could return to the office on a voluntary basis as soon as this month, while Google permitted employees to return to their headquarters in Redmond, Washington and nearby campuses this week. With more companies gradually rolling out plans to bring employees back, Schnitzer says it's all about `` risk reduction and risk mitigation, arguing that the decision depends on the workplace environment.

If the work space is such that people are able to maintain good distancing, wear masks and practice social hygiene and if most of the workers in the facility are vaccinated, that's a safe environment, said Schnitzer. If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you have to wonder whether it's safe enough.

This is all about risk reduction and risk mitigation; we 're never going to be able to eliminate the risk entirely, but we have to make the risk low enough so it makes sense for everybody, and that's going to vary case by case, he added. Seana Smith anchors Yahoo Finance Live's 3 -- 5 p.m. ET program.

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