In this photo illustration of a movie cinema billboard with three basic rules to avoid the coronavirus or Covid-19 epidemic of wash hands, maintain social distance and clean surfaces

Contributed By Devin Jopp, EdD, MS, CEO of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)

While the pace of vaccinations is on the rise in the U.S., APIC is concerned about the current increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths over the past week. This comes several weeks after some U.S. states have relaxed COVID-19 mitigation measures, repealed mask mandates, and allowed businesses to resume operations at full capacity.

[Monday], CDC Director Walensky warned of a feeling of “impending doom,” about the recent uptick in cases and urged Americans to hold on a little longer. President Biden has called on states to keep mask-wearing orders in place and urged the public not to let up on COVID-19 precautions.

With virus variants still spreading and case counts accelerating, APIC urges all Americans to follow the CDC recommendations for mask use and social distancing. European nations have experienced recent coronavirus surges prompting lockdowns in some cases. We can expect to follow suit if we are not careful.

APIC urges state officials to reinstate COVID-19 restrictions. We understand the desire to resume normal life, but what allows us to do that safely are universal masking, social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene measures recommended by the CDC. The U.S. has made extraordinary progress with three vaccines in circulation and two-thirds of states set to open shots to all adults. We cannot risk losing ground at this critical point.