U.S. COVID trends are encouraging but 'not there yet' -CDC chief

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and new emerging variants at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. January 11, 2022. Shawn Thew/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said lower COVID cases and hospitalizations were encouraging as it weighs its current recommendations but that "we are not there yet", adding that localities should make any decisions regarding masks.

"I'm really encouraged that cases are continuing to drop dramatically, hospitalizations are continuing to drop dramatically as people are making these decisions and as we are working on our guidance," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a news briefing.

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Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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