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Tired of the pandemic, Americans are planning the summer, despite the surge in COVID

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HONOLULU (AP) is a high school prom in Hawaii where masked dancers were not allowed to touch. Return to virtual…

HONOLULU (AP) is a high school prom in Hawaii where masked dancers were not allowed to touch. A return to virtual city council meetings in one Colorado city after the mayor and others gave a positive result after a face-to-face session. Renewed mandate for masks at qualified medical facilities in Los Angeles County after 22 new outbreaks in one week.

There is a surge in COVID-19, which begins to crash when the school year ends and Americans prepare for summer vacation. However, many people have returned to their pre-pandemic plans and plans that often include travel.

The number of cases is as high as since mid-February, and those numbers are probably significantly underestimated due to unregistered positive home test results and asymptomatic infections. Earlier this month, an influential group of models from the University of Washington in Seattle estimated that only 13% of cases were reported to U.S. health authorities.

Hospitalization is also increasing, and more than a third of the U.S. population lives in areas that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider to be high-risk groups. The Northeast has suffered the most.

However, vaccination has remained, and elected officials across the country do not seem to want to impose new restrictions on the population, which is ready to go further, even if the death toll in the U.S. exceeds 1 million less than 2 1/2 years after the outbreak.

“People probably underestimate the prevalence of COVID,” said Crystal Watson, head of public health at the Johns Hopkins Center’s Center for Coronavirus Security Resources. “I think there are a lot more viruses than we recognize, and that’s why people are much more likely than expected to be exposed and infected.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, the main indicator of the pandemic – the seven-day moving average for daily new cases in the US – has risen sharply over the past two weeks. The figure was around 76,000 on May 9 and jumped to almost 109,000 on Monday. It was the highest figure since mid-February, when the micron surge went into decline.

Mortality is still declining, and intensive care units are not overcrowded, as at other times during the pandemic, probably because vaccination and immunity from people who are already ill reduce the severity of many cases.

“The nature of the disease has changed. Two years ago, I observed a steady stream of severe cases of pneumonia. We are now in a situation where people need to be able to avoid this result with vaccines, pre-exposure prevention (high risk) and early antiviral therapy, ”said Dr. Jonathan Dworkin, an infectious disease clinician in Hawaii. .

In Hawaii, which once had one of the lowest rates of infection, hospitalization and death in the country, new cases are growing among 1.4 million people. The University of Hawaii will again require indoor masks across a system of 10 campuses starting Wednesday.

If the incidence increases for eight weeks in a row, Hawaii ranks second in the level of infection among any state, second only to Rhode Island. But because positive home test results are not taken into account in official data, the Hawaii Department of Health estimates that the number of cases is actually five to six times higher.

Despite the surge, visitors flock to Hawaii’s beaches, especially in recent months.

Yaling Fisher, owner of Hawaii Aloha Travel, said booking on the islands has not slowed during growth. On the contrary, they have increased.

“Even now we are still busy,” she said. “We don’t see any cancellations.”

Samantha Hanberg, who was in Hawaii this week with her young husband, said the couple left their masks at home in California when they went on vacation. She said she contracted COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic and then received a full vaccination, so she also feels safe.

“No one wants to get sick, but it’s definitely not at the forefront of my thinking,” she said, snacking on shaving ice on Waikiki Beach. “Now I’ve come to the point where I want to get back to life and enjoy life, not worry so much.”

Initially, officials closed the Hawaiian tourism industry, demanding quarantine from all arriving passengers. They moved on to the requirement of testing and then exemption from vaccination before lifting all restrictions in March.

Hawaii was the last state in the country to relinquish its mask mandate, though it remains the only state that requires all public school students to wear masks indoors – a rule that will apply throughout the summer and possibly next school year.

Nearly two years after California Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced the state’s first home order, the state officially switched to an “endemic” approach in February. As in Hawaii and many other states, the weekly rate of infection has risen sharply recently.

The new surge has caused school districts in Pacific Grove and Berkeley to resume their duties on indoor masks, while an outbreak at a Northern California long-term medical facility by Monday has affected 26 residents and 10 staff.

Some Northeast school districts have also renewed their mask mandates, including in Philadelphia and Providence, Rhode Island.

However, New York, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, is unlikely to follow suit. The city is experiencing another surge of cases, but Mayor Eric Adams has almost ruled out the return of a citywide mandate for masks if hospitals are not flooded again.

The city’s school district abandoned the practice of closing classrooms when tests of several students were positive, simply recommended wearing masks and even waived the requirement to vaccinate students to attend graduation.

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This was reported by Dazio of Los Angeles.

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Learn more about the AP pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or distributed.

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