COVID cases falling, but trouble signs arise as winter looms

  • FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2021, file photo, registered Nurse Carisa Vincent, and Hope Rose Kelly prepare pool tests for COVID-19 behind a mountain of supplies at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield, Mass. Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP, File)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2021, file photo, Sarah Staffiere adjusts a face covering on her daughter, Natalie, before school in Waterville, Maine. Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2021, file photo, a student listens to the teacher's instructions at iPrep Academy on the first day of school in Miami. Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in.