US now averaging 100,000 new daily COVID infections
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — The US is now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day, returning to a milestone last seen during the winter surge, in another bleak reminder of how quickly the Delta variant has spread through the country.
Health officials fear that cases, hospitalizations and deaths will continue to soar if more Americans don’t embrace the COVID-19 vaccine.
Nationwide, 50 percent of residents are fully vaccinated and more than 70% of adults have received at least one dose.
“Our models show that if we don’t [vaccinate people], we could be up to several hundred thousand cases a day, similar to our surge in early January,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky said on CNN this week.
It took the US about nine months to cross the 100,000 average case number in November before peaking at about 250,000 in early January.
Cases bottomed out in June, averaging about 11,000 per day, but six weeks later the number is 107,143.
Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing rapidly, though all are still below peaks seen early this year, before vaccines became widely available.
More than 44,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the CDC, up 30% in a week and nearly four times the number who were hospitalized in June. More than 120,000 were hospitalized in January.
The seven-day average for deaths also increased, according to Johns Hopkins University. It rose from about 270 deaths per day two weeks ago to nearly 500 a day as of yesterday. Deaths peaked at 3,500 per day in January. Deaths usually lag behind hospitalizations, as the disease normally takes a few weeks to kill.