As Omicron cases began to increase in several US states, heads of state were calculating their approaches for a weary audience.
Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, whose state is facing a wave that has led him to expand hospital capacity and limit elective surgeries, will not apply any lock or warrant. Mr Hogan told “Fox News Sunday” that the state “is trying to do everything in our power” to get the rest of his state vaccinated – except for more warrants. “We do not anticipate any containment,” he said. “We are not considering them. “
But the state’s rise is troubling, Mr Hogan said: “I would say that in the next few days, Omicron will be the dominant variant in our state.”
Maryland’s seven-day moving average is 1,340 daily cases. “We anticipate, over the next three to five weeks, possibly the worst surge we have seen in our hospitals throughout the crisis,” he added.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is also grappling with peak Covid cases and overwhelmed hospitals, still of the Delta variant.
“Every time you think you get it, it takes an unexpected turn,” Murphy said on Fox News Sunday. He added: “It’s relentless. There is tremendous fatigue out there when it comes to this virus. “
And while a lockdown is unlikely, it has not been completely ruled out, he said. “You have to leave it on the table, but I don’t see it,” he said, citing the state’s highly vaccinated population, including residents who have received a booster. “As tired as they are, they largely agree with what you need to do to push this off – and for now, at least, we think it will work for us.”
At least 70 percent of New Jersey residents are fully vaccinated, according to a Times database, which places it in the best states for inoculations. Cases have doubled in recent weeks, with New Jersey reporting a seven-day moving average of around 5,500 daily cases. Mr Murphy did not follow New York Governor Kathy Hochul in implementing a recent mask tenure, saying it was not necessary at the time. But he said it would remain an option.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis expressed cautious optimism about his state’s coronavirus count on Sunday, citing a home testing program and free vaccinations.
Colorado reported a seven-day moving average of around 1,500 daily cases on Saturday, down from November figures. Mr Polis maintained he would not impose a mask warrant, something he said should be left to local authorities.
“We have a lot less hospitalizations than a few weeks ago,” Polis said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show.
He cited pandemic fatigue as a reason to avoid more restrictive measures at this time and said vaccinations would be enough to keep the variant at bay. “People just don’t react well to this constant fear environment for two years,” Polis said. He added, “Getting three doses of the vaccine is very effective and virtually negates any risk you face. “
Dr Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s top Covid adviser, disagreed. “I know this is definitely a lot more of an unvaccinated crisis. But there are other tools besides the vaccine, and wearing a mask complements the protection you get from the vaccine and a boost, ”he said on the ABC show“ This Week ”on Sunday.
He urged even those who are vaccinated to wear a mask regularly. “I don’t think you should be in a situation where if you’re vaccinated you never have to worry about wearing a mask,” he said.