The coronavirus infection rate in the United States is rising again after several months of decline. The number of new cases per day is doubling over the past three weeks, driven by the rapid spread of the delta variant, the slow vaccination rate, and the massive July 4 celebrations.
Confirmed cases of infections climbed to an average of 23’600 per day on Monday, compared to 11’300 on June 23, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. All U.S. states except Maine and South Dakota reported that the figures have risen over the past two weeks.
“It is no coincidence that we are exactly in the period during which we would expect the appearance of cases during the weekend of July 4”, said Dr. Bill Powderly, head of the infectious diseases division at the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis. Louis.
At the same time, parts of the United States are facing a deep resistance to the vaccine, while a highly contagious version of the coronavirus, originally spotted in India, is responsible for an even greater increase in infections.
Nationwide, 55.6% of Americans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The five states with the highest two-week jump in per capita cases had the lowest vaccination rates: Missouri, 45.9%; Arkansas, 43%; Nevada, 50.9%; Louisiana, 39.2%; and Utah, 49.5%.
Even with the latest wave, cases of infection in the United States are nowhere near their peak of a quarter of a million a day in January. And deaths are staying below average at 260 a day, having risen to over 3,400 over the winter – a testament to how effectively the vaccine can prevent serious illness and death of infected people.
However, due to the increase, health authorities in places such as Los Angeles and St. Louis. Louis are begging people, even those who are immune, to resume wearing masks in public. Chicago officials also announced Tuesday that unvaccinated travelers from Missouri and Arkansas must either be quarantined for 10 days or test negative for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi Department of Health, which ranks last in the country for vaccinations, began blocking posts about COVID-19 on its Facebook page, due to an “increase in misinformation” about the virus and the vaccine.
Mississippi officials are also recommending that people over 65 and those with chronic illnesses stay away from large indoor gatherings due to a 150% increase in hospital admissions over the past three weeks.
But political will may not exist in many states tired of months of restrictions.
In Michigan, Democratic Gretchen Gretchen Whitmer is facing an attempt to repeal a law she used to impose major restrictions during the early stages of the pandemic.
And Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey opposed the idea that the state may need to reinstate preventative measures as vaccinations are delayed and hospitalizations increase.
“Alabama is OPEN for business. Vaccines are available, and I encourage people to get them. Emergency and health orders have expired. “We are moving forward,” she said on social media.
Dr. James Lawler, director of the Global Center for Health Safety at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, said restoring masks and limiting rallies would help. But he acknowledged that most of the countries that see the highest levels of the virus “are the ones in the country that do not want to do any of these things.”
Mr Lawler warned that what was happening in Britain was a foretaste of what was to come in the United States.
“Descriptions from the regions of the world where the delta variant has taken place and has become the predominant virus, are with pictures of emergency wards full of 30-year-olds. “This is what intensive care physicians describe, and this is what is coming to the United States.”
He added: “I think people have no idea what will hit us.”
President Joe Biden is harnessing the power of the stars for the administration’s efforts to vaccinate young people. Eighteen-year-old actress, singer and songwriter Olivia Rodrigo will meet with President Biden and Dr. Anthony Faucin on Wednesday.
While the administration has been successful in vaccinating older Americans, young people have shown less urgency to get vaccinated.
Some, at least, are hearing the call in Missouri after weeks of prayer, said Erik Frederick, chief executive of Mercy Hospital Springfield. He wrote on Twitter that the number of people being immunized at their vaccination clinic has increased from 150 to 250 every day.
“It gives me hope,” he said.