The United States is nearing numbers of average daily coronavirus cases not seen since winter as the Indian ‘Delta’ variant continues to spread across the country.
On Thursday, officials recorded 109,824 new cases of the virus with a seven-day rolling average of 98,518. The U.S. is almost at an average of 100,000 per day, which hasn’t been seen since mid-February.
This figure also represents a 277 percent increase from the average of 26.079 reported three weeks ago, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
Every state and the District of Columbia have seen COVID-19 infections either increase or remain steady in the last seven days.
Deaths are also beginning to rise after remaining relatively low for several weeks.
There were 535 COVID-19 fatalities recorded on Thursday with a seven-day rolling average of 426, which is a 58 percent increase from 268 recorded three weeks prior and the highest since June 9.
Health experts say the cause is mainly due to the highly transmissible Delta variant spading in areas with low vaccination rates.
But Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Rochelle Walensky warned that while the COVID-19 vaccines work, vaccinated people who contract the virus are still capable of transmitting the virus.
‘Our vaccines are working exceptionally well,’ Walensky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday night.
‘They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death – they prevent it. But what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.’
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On Thursday, the U.S. recorded 109,824 new cases of COVID-19 with a seven-day rolling average of 98,518, inching the country closer to 100,000 cases per day and a 277% increase from 26,079 recorded three weeks ago
COVID-19 deaths are also rising with 535 recorded on Thursday and a seven-day rolling average of 426, which is the 58% than recorded three weeks ago
Every state and the District from Columbia are seeing coronavirus cases either increase or hold steady in the last week
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday that COVID-19 vaccines work but that they ‘can’t prevent transmission’ for fully vaccinated people with breakthrough cases
Several states – particularly those across the South such as Florida, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina, have been seeing cases spiking over the past month.
However, Walensky believes that these states have not yet reached their peak.
More Americans have been getting vaccinated recently with with 864,000 doses administered on Wednesday, including 585,000 Americans getting their first doses, the highest single-day totals in more than month.
However, Walensky told CNN that she believes if more Americans don’t get vaccinated, the U.S. may see ‘several hundred thousand cases a day’ as was the situation during the deadly winter surge.
She also addressed the agency’s updated mask guidance in which all Americans were encouraged to wear masks in indoor public spaces if they live in area with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission.
This was based on data from an outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, last month showing that fully vaccinated people who contract the Delta variant have similar viral levels in their noses as unvaccinated people.
‘If you’re going home to somebody who has not been vaccinated, to somebody who can’t get vaccinated, somebody who might be immunosuppressed or a little bit frail, somebody who has comorbidities that put them at high risk, I would suggest you wear a mask in public indoor settings,’ Walensky told CNN.
In Louisiana, cases are rising rapidly from an average of 2,414 per day to 6,527 per day (left). Currently, 2,247 patients are hospitalized with the virus, a record-high number (right)
Cases in South Carolina have soared by 383% over the last 14 days from an average of 718 per day to 3,472 per day (left). Hospitalizations have also risen by 211% over the same time period from 271 patients to 845 (right)
Over the last two weeks In Louisiana, average COVID-19 cases have increased by 170 percent from 2,414 per day to 6,527 per day, a DailyMail.com analysis found.
The figure also represents the highest average number of cases recorded since the start of the pandemic
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, there are currently 2,247 Covid patients hospitalized, which is a record-high number, 89 percent of whom are not vaccinated.
Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge one COVID-19 patient is being admitted every hour on average with a federal assistance team helping with the rise.
‘These are the darkest days of our pandemic,’ Dr Catherine O’Neal, chief medical officer of the hospital, told The New York Times.
Governor John Bel Edwards said the rise in cases is due to a mix of the spread of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates.
‘The Delta variant is a game-changer, and at this point, it’s not whether we vaccinate or mask, we have to do both,’ Edwards said at a news conference on Monday.
‘Our latest numbers confirm that we simply have to do more.’
Recently, South Carolina has also been emerging as a new pandemic hotspot.
In the last two weeks, cases have soared by 383 percent over the last 14 days from an average of 718 per day to 3,472 per day, one of the biggest increases seen in the U.S.
Hospitalizations have also risen by 211 percent over the same time period from 271 patients to 845, according to data from the CDC.
At Conway Medical Center in Horry County, tents are being erected to help treat a growing number of COVID-19 patients.
‘Truly this is gut-wrenching,’ Dr Paul Richardson, the hospital’s chief medical officer, told The Sun News.
‘To have to put these tents back up because our numbers are going back up to the levels they are necessary is very discouraging. We are on a trajectory to head back towards numbers we haven’t seen for nearly a year.’
In South Carolina, only 47.2 percent of residents have received at least an initial shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and 47.1 percent are fully vaccinated.