COVID-19 cases not as low as data shows, experts say

11 April 2022

Monday marks the beginning of a big change for students in the Durham Public School system, one of the last districts in central North Carolina to loosen indoor masking guidelines.

As students return to school, health leaders warn COVID-19 case counts are not as low as they appear.

Beginning Monday, face masks will still be recommended, but no longer required, for students and staff in Durham’s public schools.

At a March school board meeting, parents demanded the district’s mask mandate end immediately.

There was a proposal to make masks optional after spring break. It would have been April 4, but school board leaders decided to leave the mandate in for one more week.

Durham was one of the last school districts in central North Carolina with a mask mandate in place. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools required indoor masking until April 4.

While COVID-19 case numbers seem to be decreasing, national health officials said it’s not that simple.

According to NBC News, U.S. cases appear to have plateaued over the past two weeks, with a consistent average of around 30,000 cases per day. However, medical experts said fewer people are getting tested, which is leading to underreporting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country went from testing two million people a day to 530,000.

The BA-2 omicron subvariant is more contagious and is the dominant strain right now in the U.S., but fewer people test when they experience mild symptoms.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the uptick is concerning, but he’s not shocked by it.

“I would not be surprised if we see an uptick in cases,” Fauci said. “I hope and I believe that there’s reason this will not happen is that we will not get a very large increase proportionality in hospitalizations because of the background immunity.”

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