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COVID-19 Testing

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The end of an extremely sickly winter just might be near as promising data shows a swift decline in COVID-19 Omicron variant infection and hospitalizations. States with large metropolitan cities across the U.S. reported drops in the number of new cases, Associated Press reported. According to numbers extracted from the New York Times coronavirus data tracker, the state of Georgia, where over 2.3 million people experienced COVID-19 infection, reported zero new cases as of Feb. 20. That’s down from just above 16,000 one month ago. New York state coronavirus infection dropped 64 percent with new cases diving from a daily average of 2900 to 1641. In Florida, where coronavirus infection reached 5,780,682, new cases dipped 70 percent over the last two weeks. 

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In the midst of declining COVID-19 cases, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention intends to loosen indoor mask mandates in an effort to “move past the pandemic,” ABC News reported. 

“We want to give people a break from things like mask wearing when these metrics are better, and then have the ability to reach for them again should things worsen,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters in a press briefing on Feb. 16.

The CDC also shared in a tweet that, though, COVID-19 cases have significantly decreased, community infection remains high.

Despite how integral masks have been in overall infection reduction, restrictions may drop in March, or as early as the final days of February, as several Democratic governors in the states of California, Delaware, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island are ready to “move forward,” the outlet noted—possibly due to the upcoming voting season. 

To maintain personal protection and for the health of  others, continued mask wearing is strongly advised. As well, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters continue to be available across the nation. Check the Coronavirus website for information on how to get immunized and receive the latest COVID-19 updates.

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