To ensure we are equipping our readers with all the information they need, we will continue to report on all travel, safety, and COVID-related news that could impact a Disney Parks visit.
The situation with COVID-19 in the United States and other countries continues to change and develop, and it may be something you’re carefully considering ahead of your travels this summer.
We’ve seen the BA.2 COVID-19 subvariant levels rising in wastewater near Disney World, a COVID-19 breath test approved for use, and more. But are we still in the “pandemic” phase? Maybe not, but it’s a little complicated.
According to The Washington Post, dr anthony fauci, the chief medical adviser of US President Biden has indicated that the United States is “out of the full-blown explosive pandemic phase.”
dr Fauci indicated that the US is now in a “transitional phase, from a deceleration of the numbers into hopefully a more controlled phase and endemicity.”
These comments came just a day after Dr. Fauci told PBS’ “NewsHour” that the US is “out of the pandemic phase.” Fauci clarified this view, noting that “The world is still in a pandemic. There’s no doubt about that. Don’t anybody get any misinterpretation of that. We are still experiencing a pandemic.”
According to Fauci, the pandemic isn’t totally over, and the US could see new waves of COVID-19 infections as it continues to mutate and new variants arise. But, Fauci noted that he (and other experts in infectious diseases) hope that the US population has built up enough immunity (from vaccines and prior infections) to avoid another “devastating surge in hospitalizations and deaths.”
Some have cautioned that Fauci’s words could easily be misinterpreted. Fauci has made further comments to explain his thoughts. According to Fauci, he was pointing out what has been clear in recent months — the US is in a different place now than it was before.
Fauci noted that the US was in a “full-blown pandemic phase” in the winter, but then entered a “deceleration phase.” He said, “The deaths went from 3,000 down to 300.”
According to Fauci, the US is now “transitioning” to the “control” phase. In the control phase, Fauci expects things to settle down in terms of COVID-19 nature of being a health emergency. The virus is still expected to circulate, but ideally won’t cause devastating new waves of hospitalizations and deaths.
Is the US in the “control” phase already? Not yet, according to Fauci. Fauci noted, “Right now, we’re at a low enough level that I believe that we’re transitioning into endemicity…We’re not in the full-blown explosive pandemic phase. That does not mean that the pandemic is over…A pandemic means widespread infection throughout the world…In our country, we’re transitioning into more of a controlled endemicity.”
These statements from Dr. Fauci came not long after a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the number of individuals who have antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection.
According to the CDC’s directorRochelle Walensky, the data shows that “an estimated 58% of the US population has antibodies from a previous COVID19 infection.” But she noted that prior infection doesn’t necessarily mean that there is long lasting protection.
As the Washington Post notes, these numbers suggest that the US “has a much higher level of collective immunity than it did before omicron. What is far less clear is how long that immunity will persist, and to what extent it could be evaded by new coronavirus variants.” Experts still say that vaccination offers the best protection against infection, serious disease, and death.
According to Google (which utilizes data from the New York Times), as of April 27th, 2022, the 7-day case average in the United States was 53,395. That is higher than the 7-day average of 29,433 shared as of March 28th, 2022.
the BA.2 COVID-19 subvariant has been a topic discussed a lot recently. According to The Washington Post, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has said that some initial estimates show it could be around 25% more transmissible than Omicron.
According to Fauci’s statements to PBS, COVID-19 will not be eradicated. But it can be handled if COVID-19 levels are kept very low and “people are ‘intermittently’ vaccinated.” He also reiterated that the pandemic is far from being over worldwide.
The situation with COVID-19 will likely continue to change and develop over the coming weeks and months. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for updates and share those with you.
Click here to get the latest info on Disney World’s mask rule changes