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Officials have yet to see coronavirus cases spiking in states that are reopening, although it's still too early to determine such patterns, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Sunday.
“We are seeing that in places that are opening, we’re not seeing this spike in cases,” Azar said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “We still see spikes in some areas that are, in fact, closed.”
Azar said it will take time to identify and report new cases throughout the U.S., according to Reuters. The virus reportedly has up to a 14-day incubation period, which could also create a delay in determining when people might be infected.
“It’s still early days,” Azar cautioned during an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation."
Azar said areas of importance when monitoring how quickly the virus is spreading in recently opened states, will include the surveillance of flu-like symptoms in the population, and other hospital admissions data. He said it's also critical to test asymptomatic individuals, who could spread the virus without even knowing they have it.
Nearly all 50 states in the U.S. have started to reopen in some way, but only 14 have met federal guidelines for lifting measures in place to fight the spread of the virus, according to Reuters. Azar said it will also take time in states like Georgia and Florida that started reopening within the past month.
He placed the responsibility on local governments with how they handle reopening plans.
“These are very localized determinations. There should not be a one size fits all to reopening but reopen we must because it’s not health versus the economy. It’s health versus healthy,” Azar said, according to the news organization.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said it was impossible to know the projected path of the virus without more testing.
“We have no idea the size of this challenge to our country because we have not sufficiently tested,” Pelosi said on the news program.