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CDC director says US may soon return to everyday activities, but 'we're not quite there yet'

"We are so close — so very close to getting back to the everyday activities we all miss so much, but we're not quite there yet," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 Response Team news conference.

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Though many Americans are eager to return to normal after a year of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday reminded Americans that "we're not quite there yet."

"We are so close — so very close to getting back to the everyday activities we all miss so much, but we're not quite there yet," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 Response Team news conference.

"This is a critical moment in our fight against the pandemic," she said, noting that Americans still need to follow public heath guidelines for social distancing, mask use and hand washing.

Related video: Fourth Pandemic Wave Looms As Nation's Cases COVID-19 Rise by 12%

"I know this is not easy and so many of us are frustrated with the disruption this pandemic has had on our everyday lives, but we can do this as a nation working together," she said. "There is reason to be hopeful because we now know so much more about this virus."

More than 30 million coronavirus infections have been reported in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University(JHU), and almost 552,000 people have died from COVID-19.

After a decline in cases nationwide in recent weeks, the U.S. just saw a jump. More than 66,870 new COVID-19 cases a day on average were reported over the past week, as of Monday. That is a 24.6% increase over the week prior, when the average had fallen to its lowest point of 2021, according to JHU data.