Cases of SARS-CoV-2 are on the rise again in nearly every part of the United States, the first time a major rise in infections has been observed since the beginning of the winter surge's decline in January of this year.
Experts noted that the cases in the earliest part of what appears to be a new surge have largely been mild, a sign that natural immunity and vaccinations are keeping more severe cases at bay.
Still, the shifting trend has some public health experts concerned. Daily average cases in the United States have roughly doubled relative to the beginning of this month.
Recent data have indicated that a large majority of Americans have already been infected by the coronavirus, a revelation that — when coupled with vaccine rates — indicates that future waves of COVID may put significantly less strain on local economies and healthcare systems.
Many businesses, governments and other institutions have in the past several months relaxed major mitigation efforts like mask mandates and distancing rules, particularly as infections bottomed out in the wake of the Omicron surge.
Some authorities are reinstating mask mandates out of concerns over the new rise in cases. Mandates have gone into effect again at numerous universities across the country, as well as on some public transportation systems, such as San Francisco's BART.