Delta Variant pushed the number of cases and hospitalizations in the United States to a six-month high
The quick spread of the Delta variant throughout swaths of the country grappling with poor vaccination rates has spurred a six-month peak in Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the United States. According to a Reuters compilation of public health data, COVID-19 cases have averaged 100,000 for three days in a row, up 35% in the last week. The disease’s outbreak was most severe in Louisiana, Florida, and Arkansas.
Hospitalizations increased by 40% while deaths, a lagging indication, increased by 18% in the past week in Arkansas, the state with the greatest fatalities by population.
The pandemic’s rapid spread has forced the cancellation of a number of high-profile events. One notable exception is a South Dakota motorcycle rally, which has gone off without a hitch.
According to the data, Florida set records for hospitalizations for eight days in a row. Most children are due back in class this week in that state, as some school districts debate whether or not to mandate students to wear masks.
The president of the country’s second-largest teachers union declared a 180-degree turn on Sunday, endorsing mandatory vaccinations for U.S. teachers in an effort to protect youngsters who are too young to be vaccinated.
The number of children admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 is on the rise across the country, a trend health experts ascribe to the Delta variety infecting youngsters more frequently than the initial Alpha strain.
With the virus wreaking havoc on Americans’ lives again after a brief respite over the summer, the effort to vaccinate individuals who are still on the fence has received new vigour.
Several cities, as well as states such as California, New York, and Virginia, have imposed vaccines or weekly testing for state personnel. Late last month, President Joe Biden’s administration issued new guidelines requiring government employees to provide proof of immunisation or face regular testing, mask requirements, and travel limitations.
A rising number of businesses in the private sector are also requiring COVID-19 immunizations. Employees at United Airlines, Tyson Foods Inc., and Microsoft are required to be vaccinated.
Some large-scale events have already been cancelled due to the growing pandemic and the rapid community spread sparked by the Delta strain. The New York Auto Show, which was supposed to take place later this month, was cancelled last week.
The New Orleans Jazz Fest has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to a major epidemic in Louisiana.
Fears about the Delta model, on the other hand, do not appear to have dimmed the spirit at Sturgis, a small town in South Dakota that hosts the annual Sturgis Motorbike Rally, which attracts hundreds of thousands of motorcycle fans.
This year’s event, which runs from August 6 to 15, may already be attracting record audiences.
In an email, Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin noted, “It is one of the largest gatherings I have seen.” The city of Sturgis has worked with health officials to give COVID-19 self-test kits to rally attendees, but the event does not require evidence of vaccination or the wearing of a mask.
Last year, the rally devolved into the super-spreader event that many had predicted.
While the number of illnesses and hospitalizations in South Dakota were relatively low when the outbreak began on Aug. 7, 2020, the state established a record for hospitalised COVID-19 patients and new infections three months later.
According to a Reuters analysis, the state lost 521 people to COVID-19 in November alone, roughly three times the number of deaths reported in October.