US reaches 700,000 COVID-19 deaths

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The United States has recorded more than 700,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 on Friday, according to a count from data compiled by by Reuters.

In its analysis of public health data, the wire service reported that over the last week, the country had seen the average number of more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths per day.

According to the latest health data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the country has recorded 10,333 deaths related to the coronavirus over the past seven days. 

The southern states have seen some of the highest death rates in the country in the past week. 

Texas has recorded 1,943 deaths over the last seven days; Georgia has recorded 746; North Carolina has tallied  512 deaths; and Tennessee has recorded 409, according to the latest CDC data as of Friday afternoon.

Pennsylvania and Ohio have also recorded high seven-day death tolls at 370 and 349 respectively, according to the health agency’s data. 

News of the grim milestone in the country comes as the nation has continued to see an average of over 100,000 new cases in the U.S. per day over the past week, according to The New York Times.

The number has been driven in large part by the highly contagious delta variant, which has been able to penetrate COVID-19 vaccinations and cause breakthrough infections. 

However, the daily case count has appeared to wane in recent weeks, according to data from the Times. 

The grim milestone also comes even as the U.S. has made the coronavirus vaccine widely available for Americans over the age of 12.

President Biden last month announced a new rule to be carried out through the Labor Department mandating that all businesses with 100 or more employees require vaccination or frequent testing. The move was the latest by the administration to get Americans inoculated against the disease. 

As of Friday afternoon, roughly 72 percent of Texans aged 12 years and older have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and 62 percent are fully vaccinated. In Georgia, 65 percent of the same population is at least partially vaccinated and 54 percent are fully vaccinated.

In North Carolina, 70 percent of people aged 12 years and older are at least partially vaccinated while 58 percent are fully vaccinated. And in Tennessee, 62 percent of that population is at least partially vaccinated while 53 percent are fully vaccinated.

Among people aged 12 years and older in the U.S. overall, 76 percent are at least partially vaccinated and 65 percent are fully vaccinated, per CDC data.

Despite the decrease of COVID-19 cases in the nation, some hospitals are still being pushed to the brink of their capacity.

Hospitals in Alaska, Idaho and Montana have had to start rationing care as they grapple with limited resources amid a high number of COVID-19 patients admitted to their facilities.

Updated: Oct. 2, 2021, 9:29 a.m.

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