The spread of the novel coronavirus right now might mean something troubling down the road — new variants taking hold across the country.

Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN that too much spread right now might mean vaccines could struggle to keep people safe down the road.

  • “Not only does uncontrolled spread cause avoidable illness, hospitalization and death, but it increases the risk that an even more dangerous variant may emerge that could make the vaccine less effective,” he said.
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Frieden told CNN people should still wear masks, limit travel and spend less time indoors with others to help curb the spread — even if they have been vaccinated.

  • “When people travel and mix, you can see a big surge of infections a couple of weeks later,” he said.

What is the state of COVID-19 in the U.S. right now?

Per Axios, the coronavirus is holding steady across the United States right now as the country continues to get vaccinated. Multiple states have seen decreases in COVID-19 case counts, while others have remained steady. It will be something to monitor as vaccines make their way to more arms.

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An avoidable surge?

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this week that any potential surge right now of COVID-19 is avoidable.

  • “We must act now, and I am worried that if we don’t take the right actions now, we will have another avoidable surge — just as we are seeing in Europe right now and just as we are so aggressively scaling up vaccination,” Walensky said, according to The Hill.
  • “We are looking at these data, we’re reaching out to individual states, trying to encourage them,” she said.