COVID cases rise nationwide as doctors fear a fourth wave

COVID cases spike amid fourth wave fears
COVID cases spike amid fourth wave fears 02:41

Doctors are warning the next COVID-19 surge is not on the horizon, but already here. Cases are rising in 27 states, including New York, Connecticut and Louisiana.

Nationwide, infections are up by double digits in the last week compared to the week before.

The rise in pediatric cases is especially troubling. In Michigan, per capita COVID cases among those aged 10 to 19 are rising faster than any other age group, more than doubling in the last month.

"We're seeing the increase in transmission in young kids, primarily in the upper Midwest, in the Northeast right now. But that's just a matter of time before we see it go throughout the entire United States," said Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. "Unfortunately, we are going to see a rise in pediatric hospitalizations and serious illness."

Doctors say the surge can be slowed if Americans don't let their guard down and get vaccinated.

"We are almost at the finish line, but we're not there," Osterholm said.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spoke with the nation's governors on Tuesday, asking them to enforce mask mandates in their states.

"I encouraged all governors to include a mask mandate in their states. And to the extent that states were not having a mask mandate ... I would ask citizens to mask, regardless of the mandate," Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

Arkansas is the latest state to lift its mask order.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and 13 other countries issued a joint statement criticizing the World Health Organization's investigation in China about the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, saying the study "was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples."

As the U.S. continues the race to vaccinate, a number of temporary Federal Emergency Management Agency sites are set to close next month as the Biden administration works to make retail pharmacies the main distribution point. The FEMA site in Los Angeles County has administered more than 269,000 doses in a month and a half. 

  • Omar Villafranca
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    Omar Villafranca is a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas.