Cases of COVID-19 are increasing again in the United States, with the delta variant becoming the dominant variant, according to data from US health officials Wednesday.
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The average daily number of new infections for seven days on Tuesday was just under 13,900, from about 11,500 two weeks ago, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). or an increase of more than 20%.
The effect of a long weekend that included a public holiday could also dampen this increase for the time being, due to figures quoted by local authorities late.
The delta variant, which is more contagious than the others, now causes about 52% of cases, according to the CDC, the country’s main federal public health agency.
Despite doses of vaccines widely available to all, the US immunization campaign has slowed sharply after peaking in early April.
Currently, just over 55% of the population, or roughly 183 million people, have received at least one dose of one of the country’s three authorized vaccines.
Regions in the Midwest and South of the country have the lowest vaccination rates, compared to the Northeast and West Coast states of the United States where these rates are much higher.
The ventilators at a Springfield, Missouri hospital, to treat COVID-19 patients ran out over the weekend, local media reported.
Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security told AFP that the pandemic would now have “two different faces” in the United States. It would still be “a problem in places where there are large numbers of unvaccinated people”, but in other places it would “be treated like a normal respiratory virus”.
Thus, in places where vaccination rates are high, he says, there will be more and more “dissociation” between the number of COVID-19 cases, and the curves for hospitalizations and deaths declining.