New COVID-19 cases increased this past week in the United States but so did the daily vaccination rate. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
- New COVID-19 cases have risen to more than 100,000 per day over the past week in the United States.
- Experts warn that areas with many unvaccinated people, as well as emerging variants, could lead to another surge in cases.
- The daily vaccination rate in the United States rose to 740,000. Experts say that elected and community leaders need to continue to promote the benefits of vaccination.
Editor’s note: This story is updated regularly as new statistics are released.
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to increase in the United States, but the daily number of vaccinations is also rising.
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average number of new U.S. cases has risen to 110,000 per day, about 25,000 more than a week ago. It’s the highest average since early February.
Meanwhile, the 7-day average of vaccine doses administered in the United States increased to about 740,000 a day, a jump of 40,000 from a week ago but still well below the 2 million daily average earlier this year.
Overall, the number of new cases in the United States was listed at 757,392 for the week that ended on Sunday, a 35 percent increase from the previous week.
The number of COVID-19 deaths was listed at 3,248 this past week, a 17 percent increase from the week before. That compares to the 3,300 COVID-19-related deaths per day in mid-January.
Hospitalizations have risen to more than 61,000, about 15,000 higher than a week ago.
Overall, the United States has reported 36 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States have now surpassed 617,000.
CDC officials report that 93 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States are due to the Delta variant.
Health officials report that more than 99 percent of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are people who aren’t fully vaccinated.
The surge in cases and hospitalizations prompted CDC officials to update their guidelinesTrusted Source 2 weeks ago to encourage vaccinated people to wear masks in public indoor locations in areas of high transmission. The agency also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, students, employees, and visitors at schools.
The trajectory of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths has experts worried, even with the increase in vaccinations.
“I am not sure that we are there yet in getting enough people to avoid a surge in the fall. This is really a week-by-week if not day-by-day game,” Dr. Jamila Taylor, director of healthcare reform and a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, told Healthline. “However, it is very encouraging that vaccinations are up.”
“This average could go on at this level for some weeks with local hot spots erupting here and there, sometimes fueled by local super-spreading events,” added Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
Schaffner is concerned about potential spikes as students return to schools and universities.
“Fortunately, many colleges and universities are requiring vaccination of all returning students. I wish that were true of all colleges,” Schaffner told Healthline.
“Elementary and high schools are another issue,” he added. “Clearly, the lower the rate of transmission in the community, the lower the risk in the schools. Again, this is a reason for community-wide vaccination.
“Note that this also applies to people who do not have any direct contact with children. By being vaccinated, they will contribute to lowering transmission in the community,” Schaffner continued.
“Of course, all adults associated with schools should be vaccinated (not just teachers, but also administrators, secretaries, cafeteria workers, custodians, school bus drivers, crossing guards, etc.) as well as all children age 12 and older. Added to that: masks for all, social distancing, attention to ventilation, surface disinfection, etc. If every school did most of these things, schools will be a low-risk environment,” he said.
Taylor and Schaffner are also concerned about the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“Clearly, some hospitals are seeing their physical resources, as well as their personnel, stretched as they were last winter,” Schaffner said. “Seriously ill persons now are younger and even children’s hospitals are seeing increasing admissions. Delta is seeking out unvaccinated younger adults and children. This is not ‘old COVID.’ Delta is changing what much of what we learned in the early phase of the pandemic.”
“We should always be worried when hospitalizations are up due to COVID-19,” Taylor added. “The new treatments are promising, but access to care continues to be a major problem in the United States, especially for marginalized populations.
“We must ensure that as these new treatments are developed, all people can access them void of systemic barriers and challenges,” Taylor said. “Equity must be interwoven within every aspect of the COVID-19 response and recovery effort.”
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