Spring break travel might ignite 4th wave of COVID cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – The U.S. is making some progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. More Americans are getting vaccinated and new cases are dropping. But health officials are worried upcoming holidays could result in another surge of the virus.

Over the weekend, spring breakers packed beaches and crowding restaurants and bars in South Florida.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gilbert said, “We’ve got too many people coming, we’ve got too many people coming that are acting out, and we have COVID. Almost a triple threat.”

More than 5.2 million people have traveled since Thursday, the most air traffic since the start of the pandemic.

That threat looms large for experts as they worry about the risk of a potential fourth wave of the virus.

CDC Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “We are just starting to turn the corner, the data are moving in the right direction but where this goes is pending on whether we all do what must be done, to protect ourselves and others.”

With mask mandates being lifted in some states, tensions are running high.

Mike Nguyen owns Noodle Tree, a San Antonio restaurant owner targeted by vandals. Anti-Asian graffiti sprayed on his business after he spoke out on CNN about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to lift the state’s mask mandate.

Nguyen said, “To take it to this far, to actual wish harm on someone, an opinion. That is taking it too far.”

In the meantime, new CDC data shows vaccination efforts have sped up with 1 in 5 Americans now have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The pace of vaccinations picking up with more than 5.93 million doses administered this weekend alone, an increase of 11 percent from last weekend.

A total of 107 million vaccine doses have been administered in the US, more than 11% of the population is now fully vaccinated.

Scientific evidence by the Israeli Ministry of Health suggests that asymptomatic infection and transmission drastically decreases with the vaccine.

Former FDA Commissioner & Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb said, “If that’s the case, the vaccine creates what we call ‘dead-end hosts’ – a lot of dead-end hosts – meaning people will no longer be able to transmit the infection.”

As of Monday, teachers joined those eligible to receive the vaccine all across the country.

The full reopening of schools remains a state-by-state, city-by-city decision.

A federal official says the CDC is now renewing data to see if it might revise guidelines to change social distancing in schools from 6 feet to 3.

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