Healthcare

At least 20 percent of Americans have been infected with COVID-19, data show

Nursing coordinator Beth Springer looks into a patient's room in a COVID-19 ward at the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, La. on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Associated Press/Gerald Herbert

At least 20 percent of Americans have now been infected with COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The data shows more than 66,400,000 Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic began in early 2020. The country has seen more than 850,000 deaths.

The total number of Americans who had COVID-19 could be much higher due to asymptomatic cases. 

About 63 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated, though that figure significantly varies by locality — from about 48 percent in Alabama and Wyoming to nearly 87 percent in Washington, D.C.

The omicron variant currently spreading across the country has proven far more transmissible than previous strains, even among vaccinated populations.

The variant has caused surges in cases across the country, with some hospitals getting overwhelmed by the spike. A large majority of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized are unvaccinated.  

Multiple states have declared a state of emergency in order to provide extra resources to hospitals, with some deploying the National Guard. 

Amid the surge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its mask guidance, saying the KN95 or N95 masks will be most protective against the virus. However, it still recommends people use the most protective mask they will “wear consistently.” 

Tags COVID-19 COVID-19 pandemic in the United States Face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic N95 respirator SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant
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