The daily tally of coronavirus deaths is decreasing, the number of new cases has dropped by 73 percent, and hospitalizations are down by more than 50 percent.
However, the U.S. is still crossing a tragic milestone with 500,000 deaths. President Joe Biden will hold a White House ceremony remembering the lives lost on Monday evening.
Even with the number of deaths dropping, one concern still remains – the mutations of the virus that are now spreading into the U.S. could lead to a resurgence of the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday that he doesn't believe that's inevitable, saying people need to keep wearing masks and social distancing, along with getting vaccinated.
"The vaccines that we are currently distributing now, the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines, work very well against the U.K. variant, the 1.1.7. So the better we do at getting vaccines into peoples' arms as quickly and as expeditiously as possible, that will be another important tool against preventing this additional spike that we want to make sure does not happen with the U.K. variant," he said.
Dr. Fauci is especially concerned about the South African mutation.
"If in fact this becomes more dominant, we may have to get a version of the vaccine that is directed specifically against the South African isolate," he said Sunday during an interview with Fox News.
When asked about returning to some state of normalcy, Fauci declared that it's difficult to project when the U.S. might return to functioning as it did before the pandemic.
He did say that by the end of 2021, "we're going to have a significant degree of normality beyond the terrible burden that all of us have been through over the last year."
"As we get into the fall and the winter, by the end of the year, I agree with (President Joe Biden) completely that we will be approaching a degree of normality," he added.
At the same time, the new variants are still a cause for concern over when it's safe to reopen schools. The CDC continues to emphasize that teachers should be the first to receive a vaccine, but that educators should not require vaccination to resume in-person teaching.
"We're doing what we can to protect the safety of the students and the teachers, but it's not a requirement," Fauci said on the matter.
Meanwhile, some experts believe the U.S. could reach what's known as "herd immunity" by April or May, but that will only happen when enough people have become immune to the virus to cut the risk of infection for others.
Your health is important. Do you have questions about nutrition, weight loss, boosting immunity or medicine? Learn more here!