- New COVID-19 cases have risen to about 67,000 per day over the past week.
- Experts are concerned this new rise in cases could signal the beginning of a new COVID-19 surge due to relaxed restrictions, more infectious virus variants, and large social gatherings.
- Vaccinations are beginning to help ease the pandemic, but experts say the public still needs to adhere to safety protocols to avoid an even bigger surge in cases over the coming weeks.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated regularly as new statistics are released.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States appears to have plateaued amid concerns from experts that we’re about to enter another surge.
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average number of new U.S. cases was about 67,000 per day this past week.
Overall, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the last week rose 8 percent nationwide.
This is the fourth week in a row that cases have increased.
The number of COVID-19 deaths averaged 1,000 per day this past week, a 7 percent drop.
The average number of daily COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide has risen to 3.1 million, a new record for the seventh week straight.
Overall, the United States has confirmed more than 31.3 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations now stand at almost 38,000, up about 6 percent from a week ago.
COVID-19-related deaths in the United States have now surpassed 563,000.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, told Healthline the uptick in cases and the spread of the coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom are troubling.
“The development and spread of COVID virus variants pose substantial problems. The more the COVID virus spreads, the more it reproduces, the more opportunities it has to mutate, the more it mutates, the more likely it is that mutations will result in variant virus strains that have new characteristics,” Schaffner said. “Variants can be more contagious, more apt to cause serious disease and, very disturbingly, more able to evade the protection provided by vaccines. The more contagious UK variant is becoming dominant throughout the country because it is very contagious.”
Schaffner does hold out hope that the COVID-19 vaccines can at least slow down the variant.
“Fortunately, the vaccines do provide good protection against the UK variant and COVID vaccinations must continue intensely,” he said. “However, we cannot vaccinate fast enough to curb the spread of the UK variant by itself. Current control requires continuing masking and social distancing in addition to vaccination. If we do not keep our masks on, more of our neighbors will be admitted to hospitals across the country.”
This past week, 33 states reported increases in COVID-19 cases compared with 27 states the prior week.
The CDC reported that Michigan had the most new cases in the past 7 days with 50,983. That’s 4,000 more than the previous week.
Almost 40 percent of the new cases in Michigan were from the variant first detected in the United Kingdom, the highest percentage in the country.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Michigan should “shut down” to combat this surge in new cases.
Florida was second with 39,465 new cases this past week, about 2,000 more than the previous week.
Pennsylvania was third with 30,024 new cases, about the same as the previous week.
New York was fourth with 26,047 new cases, about the same as the previous week.
New Jersey was fifth with 25,047 cases, about 3,500 fewer than the previous week.
Texas and California, the two most populous states, reported about 20,000 new cases each this past week.
The CDC also reported that Michigan had by far the highest rate of cases with 510 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 7 days. That’s about 40 more than the previous week.
New Jersey was second with 282 cases per 100,000 residents, followed by Delaware at 241 cases per 100,000 residents and New York with 235 cases per 100,000 residents.
There were 21 states that reported an increase this past week in COVID-19 deaths.
California recorded the most COVID-19 deaths over the past 7 days with 715, a decrease of about 150 from the previous week.
Florida was second with 346 reported deaths, followed by Georgia with 311 and Texas with 298.CORONAVIRUS UPDATESStay on top of the COVID-19 pandemic
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The CDC reports there have been 192 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the country.
More than 75 million of those doses were for people receiving their second shot.
Almost 37 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose. Nearly 23 percent are fully vaccinated.
California has administered the most doses at more than 23 million. That’s followed by Texas with 15 million.
Both Florida and New York have administered 12 million doses.
None of those states, however, are in the top 5 in terms of doses administered per 100,000 people:
Dr. Jamila Taylor, director of healthcare reform and a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, told Healthline last week that she’s encouraged by the number of people receiving vaccinations.
However, she said there are still inequities.
“More Americans are getting shots and I am hopeful that herd immunity is on the horizon,” Taylor said. “However, more work is drastically needed to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine.”
“Far too many people of color, young people with disabilities or chronic illness, and other vulnerable groups still lack access,” Taylor explained. “Once we see better uptake by these groups, I will feel much better about where we are in our efforts to beat COVID-19.”
Taylor has written a column on the path this country can take to achieve equity in vaccinations.
Schaffner sees a positive development but also a worrisome trend.
“Two things are in play,” he said. “First, we have vaccinated 35 percent of the population age 65 and older, so fewer in that age group are becoming ill with COVID. Second, younger adults are taking off their masks and no longer observing social distancing, so the virus now is spreading in this younger population and sending some into the hospital. Younger adults also are less eager to get vaccinated, so it is likely that the virus will continue to spread among middle-age and younger adults, slowing our efforts to reach herd immunity.”