Just weeks after daily COVID-19 cases reached their lowest point in the U.S., the country is now recording an average of 100,000 new infections per day, as the delta variant has fueled surges among unvaccinated communities.
It took the country about nine months to reach a daily average of 100,000 cases in November, but cases have surged to that rate again after dropping to an average of 11,000 cases per day in late June, The Associated Press reported based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
A similar rapid spike has also occurred among daily COVID-19 deaths, increasing over the past two weeks from roughly 270 deaths per day to a daily rate of about 500 as of Friday.
While the White House on Monday announced that 70 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, one month after President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE’s initial July 4 goal, health officials have cautioned that the virus is still running rampant among unvaccinated communities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyFDA panel endorses COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans, rejects widespread use Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows MORE warned this week that the country could see a surge of up to several hundred thousand cases per day if people do not get vaccinated quickly.
The CDC on Friday released a study indicating that unvaccinated people were more than twice as likely than the fully vaccinated to get reinfected with COVID-19, countering arguments that natural immunity from an initial infection is enough to protect against the virus.
“These findings suggest that among persons with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, full vaccination provides additional protection against reinfection,” the report found. “To reduce their risk of infection, all eligible persons should be offered vaccination, even if they have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.”
While the White House said this week that vaccination rates have risen slightly in recent days, especially after the CDC reimposed mask guidelines in high transmission areas due to delta variant concerns, vaccine hesitancy still remains large in some parts of the U.S., especially in Southern states.
Florida has become the new epicenter for COVID-19 infections, with Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms California dreaming did not become reality for Republicans Florida landlord requiring proof of vaccinations from tenants MORE (R) facing ongoing criticism for his largely hands-off approach to the pandemic and imposing bans on vaccine and mask mandates.
The Sunshine State on Friday recorded 22,783 new COVID-19 cases, the highest recorded in a single day in the state since the pandemic began.
The state also broke the record for hospitalizations for a fifth day in a row, with a total of 12,864 patients in hospital beds with COVID-19 infections across Florida.