COVID-19 cases rising again in most states ahead of holidays: analysis

For the first time in two months, coronavirus cases are trending upward again in a majority of states as the holiday season ramps up, USA Today reported, analyzing COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University.

The newspaper reported that 29 states saw higher COVID-19 case counts for the week ending on Wednesday in comparison to the week prior. 

USA Today noted that the increase in COVID-19 cases in states was being predominantly driven by Northern states like Vermont despite the state boasting high vaccination rates. 

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Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 91 percent of residents aged 12 years and older in Vermont have been at least partially vaccinated while 81 percent are fully vaccinated. 

Meanwhile, the newspaper noted that the lowest daily per-capita COVID-19 count of infections was now being reported by Florida — a state that had once been mired in an overwhelming surge of infections earlier this year. 

CDC data showed that Florida logged more than 1,440 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday compared to more than 2,800 a month prior on Oct. 9. At its peak earlier this summer, the state logged more than 20,000 cases multiple times. 

Compared to two weeks ago, a dozen states are seeing an increase in the number of ICU beds used for COVID-19 hospitalizations, Bloomberg reported. The situation has become so dire recently that Colorado on Tuesday announced that it would be implementing its crisis of care plan.

The rising cases pose uncertainty for Americans who are anxious to return to larger family gatherings this holiday season. Parents and health officials were hopeful that the approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for children as young as 5 years old would further help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Earlier this week, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believed the U.S. is “close to the end of the pandemic phase of this virus,” but he acknowledged cases could still trend upward during this time.