Fauci says pandemic not over as Illinois sees Covid-19 cases inch up
CHICAGO - Is it the end of the pandemic? For a second, there was a glimmer of hope from the nation's top doctor himself, but he has since clarified.
"We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, Tuesday on PBS. "We don't have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now. So if you're saying are we out of the pandemic phase in this country, we are."
Dr. Fauci basing his statement on lower deaths and hospitalization numbers, but the CDC says infections are up about 22-percent in the last week.
Now, Dr. Fauci is clarifying, telling the Associated Press we are in "more of a controlled phase…by no means does that mean the pandemic is over."
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When it comes to number of cases, numbers are lower than before but UIC Medical Center's Dr. Shikha Jain says we might not know the full story and the numbers might be higher than what's being reported.
"Right now, a lot of people are doing home testing. Right now a lot of people aren't testing at all because they've decided the pandemic is over. People have gone back to thinking oh, I just have a runny nose and aren't getting tested," said Dr. Jain.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 500 Covid-19 hospitalizations on March 31 and that has steadily increased to nearly 700 Covid-19 patients as of Tuesday.
"Until we get more people vaccinated, until we get more people boosted, until we get more people protected, we're not going to be able to enter into an endemic phase," said Dr. Jain.
On Thursday, Cook County Health will administer its one-millionth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.