Reports sent by the task force to states dated to January 3 warned of the possibility of a ‘USA variant’ of Covid-19, CNN reported.
“This fall/winter surge has been at nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges. This acceleration suggests there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and maybe 50 per cent more transmissible,” reports obtained by CNN said.
The task force further called for aggressive mitigation in response to a much more aggressive virus, which should include the use of face masks and immediate vaccination of as many people as possible.
“Without the uniform implementation of effective face masking (two or three ply and well-fitting) and strict social distancing, epidemics could quickly worsen as these variants spread and become predominant,” said the report.
This comes after a new variant said to be 70 per cent more transmissible was reported in the United Kingdom last year.
“The United States remains at a high plateau of 140-150,000 confirmed and suspected COVID admissions per week and 120-125,000 total inpatients. Significant continued deterioration, from California across the Sunbelt and up into the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, despite low testing rates during the holidays, suggests aggressive community spread,” the task force reports said.
According to CNN, California is the state with the most new cases per 100,000 population this week, followed by Arizona, Kansas, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Utah, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, and Massachusetts in the top ten states.
The task force continued to warn states of “aggressive community spread” after the holiday season, and said that vaccines must “be put in arms now”.
The vaccination campaign in the country has already begun, with Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines being authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The US is the worst-hit nation by the pandemic, with 21,818,572 overall infections and 368,296 deaths, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.