Delta Variant Triggers Covid-19 Spike in US, Daily Cases Reach 72,000 – The United States recorded a rise in the number of cases, people treated and deaths from COVID-19 last week, even as vaccination rates continued to rise amid concerns over the highly contagious Delta variant.

“We are still concerned that the rise in cases will continue, fueled by the Delta variant,” White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Monday.

He said cases were concentrated in communities with low rates of COVID-19 vaccination.

One in three cases across the US last week came from Florida and Texas, he told the press.

Meanwhile, vaccinations are reaching more people as concerns over the Delta variant grow.

Zients said in recent weeks the average number of people vaccinated daily had increased by nearly 70 percent.

Three million Americans have received their first injection in the past seven days, and the country reached a milestone as the number of adults receiving at least one dose reached 70 percent of the population on Monday.

“There are still about 90 million Americans who qualify but haven’t been vaccinated, and we need them to live up to that,” he said.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Rochelle Walensky said as of Saturday (Aug 31) there were about 72,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day in the US, up 44 percent from the previous week and higher than record cases in the summer of 2020.

People treated rose 41 percent and deaths also rose to 300 people per day, an increase of 25 percent, he said.

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“While we desperately want to end this pandemic, COVID-19 is clearly not finished with us. So the battle has yet to go on for much longer,” Walensky said.

The White House is working with states to encourage vaccination using incentives, following President Joe Biden’s call last week for federal funds to be used to give 100 dollars to anyone vaccinated, Zients said.

He said the White House’s policy — which urges federal workers to get vaccinated or get tested for COVID-19 every week — spurred other companies to adopt similar policies for their employees.

He added that vaccination as a condition of returning to work or school is a trend everywhere.

Walensky said the CDC is encouraging people who have agreed to a third injection — as a boost — to report their data to government scientists.

“If people take the initiative to get a third injection — again, not recommended — but we have the capacity to do that and are researching the data right now,” said Walensky. [pan]


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