The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now saying the U.K. variant is the most dominant COVID strain in the U.S. ABC News’ Elizabeth Schulze has details.
ELIZABETH SCHULZE: New concerns this morning about that highly contagious UK variant, which the CDC now says is the most dominant strain of COVID in the US. Health experts fear it's helping fuel a fourth surge of the virus.
ALOK PATEL: If you add on the fact that we have loosening restrictions, more people traveling, young people spreading it, and even more contagious variants, that is a setup for more outbreaks.
ELIZABETH SCHULZE: COVID hospitalizations are on the rise in at least 16 states. In Michigan, cases nearly tripling in the last three weeks. CDC teams now on the ground there. Hospitals overwhelmed once again. Nearly half of the nation's new COVID cases are in just five states. Many of the patients, younger people who have yet to be vaccinated.
ROCHELLE WALENSKY: Hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults, those in their 30s and 40s, admitted with severe disease.
ELIZABETH SCHULZE: At one Wisconsin daycare, at least 16 children under the age of six tested positive for the UK variant this week, along with more than a dozen daycare workers and family members.
PAULA DREW: I think we were kind of all stunned by the news.
ELIZABETH SCHULZE: Health experts say vaccines are still effective against the variant, making the race to vaccinate even more urgent. 38 states have now opened vaccine eligibility to anyone over age 16. And with the pace of vaccinations ramping up, the Director of the CDC telling ABC'S Dr. Jen Ashton she's hopeful kids will be back in school this fall.
ROCHELLE WALENSKY: I really hope the decreased number of cases that we should anticipate come September 2021, that schools should be full fledged, in person, and all of our children back in the classroom.
ELIZABETH SCHULZE: A new survey from the Department of Education found 46% of public school students are being offered full time in-person learning, but the vast majority of kids are still at home doing virtual schooling for at least part of the week.