New COVID-19 cases up 94 percent in two weeks: NYT


Overnight Health Care: New COVID-19 cases up 94 percent in two weeks |  Nurses union calls on CDC to bring back universal mask guidelines | Texas  sued over law that lets citizens

The average number of new daily COVID-19 cases has increased 94 percent over the past two weeks, according to data from The New York Times, as worries over outbreaks climb nationwide.

The U.S. recorded a seven-day average of more than 23,000 daily cases on Monday, almost doubling from the average two weeks ago, as less than half of the total population is fully vaccinated.

Monday’s count of 32,105 newly confirmed cases pushed the seven-day average up from its Sunday level of more than 19,000 new cases — a 60 percent increase from two weeks prior.

All but four states — West Virginia, Maine, South Dakota and Iowa — have seen increased daily averages in the past 14 days, and the average in 16 states at least doubled in that period.

This comes as the highly transmissible delta variant was declared the dominant strain in the U.S. last week.

At the same time, vaccinations have stalled, with the daily rate reaching its lowest point during President Biden’s tenure on Sunday at slightly more than 506,000. Monday saw a small uptick in the average rate to more than 527,000 per day, according to Our World in Data.

The rise in case counts comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says just 48 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated. Officials have said fully vaccinated people are protected from the virus, while unvaccinated people are at much higher risk for serious illness and death. 

This leaves a majority of Americans still vulnerable to the virus, particularly children under 12 years old, who are not authorized to get the vaccine. More than 56 percent of the eligible population aged 12 and older is fully vaccinated. 

The Biden administration has strived to boost vaccination numbers over the past few months and signaled a new strategy focused on grassroots campaigning to promote the vaccine last week. The country fell short of the president’s goal to get 70 percent of adults at least one dose by the Fourth of July.

Increases in COVID-19 cases have previously signaled during the pandemic an upcoming rise in hospitalizations and deaths. The Times data shows that average deaths are still decreasing, but average daily hospitalizations are climbing, with a 16 percent increase from two weeks ago.

Still, case counts are much lower than the devastating peak that hit the U.S. in January, and experts say the country will not reach that level of infection again, as vulnerable populations have gotten vaccinated. Seventy-nine percent of those aged 65 and older are considered fully vaccinated.

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