ATLANTA -- Coronavirus cases continue to decline in the U.S. after a winter surge.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in the country dropped below 100,000 on Friday for the first time since November 4. It stayed below 100,000 again on Saturday.
The seven-day average was well above 200,000 for much of December and went to roughly 250,000 in January, as the pandemic came roaring back after it had been tamed in some places over the summer.
Meanwhile, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, told CNN on Sunday that CDC guidelines provide more flexibility in opening schools as disease rates in the community come down.
The CDC released its long-awaited roadmap for getting students back to classrooms during the pandemic on Friday. It said in-person schooling can resume safely with masks, social distancing and other strategies, and vaccination of teachers, while important, is not a prerequisite for reopening.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.