Coronavirus Watch: Common respiratory viruses are on the rise, CDC warns

·2 min read

Most common respiratory viruses circulated at historically low levels in 2020, likely due to COVID-19 mitigation measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing, the CDC said Friday.

But now, as those measures relax, some viruses have begun circulating at increased levels at an unusual time of the year, the CDC said.

"Reduced circulation of influenza viruses during the past year might affect the severity of the upcoming influenza season given the prolonged absence of ongoing natural exposure to influenza viruses," the CDC said.

Not sure how to tell the difference between COVID-19 symptoms and the common cold? Check out our guide here.

It's Friday, and this is Coronavirus Watch from the USA TODAY Network. Here's more news you need to know:

  • About 100 U.S. Olympians still have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. About 83% of the U.S. delegation, which includes 613 athletes, have been vaccinated, said Jonathan Finnoff, chief medical officer of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

  • Alabama's Republican Gov. Kay Ivey drew fire on Friday after saying it was "time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks" for a spike in her state's COVID-19 cases, with critics charging she has failed to show leadership in tackling the pandemic.

  • Tennessee's state government will resume all forms of vaccine outreach after halting many forms of vaccine advocacy this month in response to conservative political pressure, the state's top health official said Friday.

  • As Georgia sees a surge in new cases in the past few weeks, Gov. Brian Kemp said the state will not be implementing restrictions and encouraged people to get vaccinated.

  • Students, teachers and staff at Chicago Public Schools will be required to wear masks indoors when school begins in August, officials said.

Today's numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 34.3 million COVID-19 cases and 610,200 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have been more than 192.9 million cases and more than 4.1 million deaths. About 56% of people in the U.S. have received at least one vaccine shot, and about 49% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Tracking the pandemic: See the numbers in your area here. See where cases are rising here. See vaccination rates here. And here, compare vaccinations rates worldwide and see which countries are using which vaccines.

– Grace Hauck, USA TODAY breaking news reporter, @grace_hauck

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus Watch: Common respiratory viruses are on the rise

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