The number of COVID-19 cases per day in the US has surged by more than 40% from the previous week amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention head said Thursday.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the seven-day average for new cases daily was 89,463 on Thursday, up 43% from the week before.
“Across the board, we are seeing increases in cases and hospitalizations in all age groups,” Walensky said at the White House’s COVID-19 briefing.
Walensky said that new hospitalizations had increased by about 41% from the previous week, with a seven-day average of 7,348 admissions.
White House COVID-19 response chief, Jeff Zients, said that seven states with some of the lowest vaccination rates were driving the latest surges.
Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi accounted for around half of the new cases and hospitalizations — despite making up for less than a quarter of the country’s population, Zients said.
“Vaccinations are the very best line of defense against COVID and the Delta variant, and we’re doing everything we can to keep getting shots in arms,” Zients said.
Zients said that some of these states had seen “significant increases” in residents getting vaccinated against the virus.
“Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri Alabama Oklahoma and Mississippi are now vaccinating people at a pace not seen since April,” Zients said.
Among the states reporting more new vaccinations was Tennessee, which saw a 90% jump in the number of first COVID-19 shots over the past two weeks, Zients said.
Oklahoma and Georgia recorded an 82% and 66% increase over the same period, respectively, Zients said.
“Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected. And they’re responded by doing their part, rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated,” Zients said.