COVID-19 cases up in nearly half of US states: analysis

COVID-19 cases are trending upward in nearly half of all states in the U.S., according to a new analysis of Johns Hopkins University data by USA Today.

Coronavirus infections in Alaska and Arkansas more than doubled in the last week, according to USA Today. Cases in South Carolina and Kansas have increased by more than 50 percent.

The number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 spiked by almost 30 percent over the July 4 weekend in a hard-hit Missouri area, according to USA Today’s analysis.

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The increase in hospitalizations in the area, which has a low vaccination rate, caused a temporary shortage of ventilators and a plea for help from respiratory therapists, USA Today reported.

The state of Missouri has seen the highest number of new cases per capita over the past two weeks in the U.S., according to USA Today. Only 39.4 percent of its residents are fully vaccinated.

The delta variant, which was first identified in India, has been one of the main forces behind the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout Missouri, the newspaper reported. The new strain has made matters more difficult for hospitals in Springfield, and has sparked fear that the circumstances could worsen following holiday gatherings.

Mississippi is also seeing spikes in COVID-19 infections, which increased by nearly 15 percent in June. The state has the lowest vaccination rate in the country, with only 31 percent of its residents fully inoculated.

According to officials cited by USA Today, approximately 95 percent of those hospitalized in Mississippi have been unvaccinated.

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration 'Highest priority' is to vaccinate the unvaccinated, Fauci says Sunday shows - Boosters in the spotlight MORE, when asked during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday if he would wear a mask in Biloxi, Miss., right now, considering the state’s low vaccination rate, responded “I think there would be good reason to do that.”

“Because as we've said so often, that vaccines are not, even as good as they are and highly effective, nothing is 100 percent. And if you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say, when I'm in that area where there's a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection. Even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective,” Fauci said.