This is an email from Your Coronavirus Update, a newsletter by Medium Coronavirus Blog.

The Latest: The end of the winter surge

Dear Reader,

The winter surge is finally relenting. Across the United States, case counts, hospitalizations, and reported deaths have sharply dropped. This is encouraging news because it means that the steps we’re taking to control the spread of the coronavirus are working.

Former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden put it succinctly in the weekly Covid-19 epidemiology update he writes on Medium: “The thing about wearing masks, not traveling, and minimizing time spent sharing indoor air with people who are not in our household? They work.”

But we shouldn’t let our guard down: Though case counts are decreasing, they’re still too high, and the new Covid-19 variants are harder to contain because they’re more transmissible. Aerosol transmission, as Robert Roy Britt reminds us in the Coronavirus Blog, remains a major concern. Keeping up social distancing and proper masking is more critical than ever.

Relaxing the rules around these behaviors may have driven the winter surges in the first place, new research from Princeton University suggests. Though the cold weather driving people indoors certainly didn’t help, it was a secondary factor, as my colleague Drew Costley wrote in the Coronavirus Blog this week.

We’re not in the clear yet, and a spike in the spring may still be possible. But the good news is that we know what works to prevent another surge from happening.

I want to invite you to share your questions and concerns about Covid-19. Send me an email, and I’ll do my best to address them on the Coronavirus Blog.

Stay safe and stay hopeful,

Yasmin Tayag
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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A spate of violent attacks on Asian Americans — many of them elderly — has drawn attention toward misinformation that falsely racializes the virus. Remember that the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate by race, and it can infect and be spread by anyone. Russell Jeung, PhD, a sociology professor and co-lead of the organization Stop AAPI Hate, recently shared tips on how to support Asian people right now:

  • Correct misinformation that racializes Covid-19.
  • Encourage your school, work, church, or organization to release a public statement calling for racial justice.
  • Support community groups geared toward racial justice, especially cross-racial community projects.

Read more for additional guidance and resources.

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Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.