The rate of the spread of COVID-19 had slowed across America. Increases in daily fatal and confirmed cases are still about half what they were seven weeks ago. Nevertheless, 567,142 Americans have died, which is about 20% of the world’s total. Confirmed cases have reached 31,348,231, or about 23% of the global number. Hospitalizations, which were over 100,000 a day during the peak wave, dropped into the thousands. However, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports they have begun to rise again in more than half the states.
The pace of the spread of the disease remains in part a race between vaccinations and the rising number of potentially dangerous variants. So far, 35% of the adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine and 21% are fully vaccinated. While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots, the one from Johnson & Johnson requires just a single dose. According to The New York Times, 237,791,735 doses have been delivered in the United States and 183,467,709 of them have been administered.
Additionally, much of the country has “opened up,” which has caused worries that there will be a fourth wave of the disease. Just two weeks ago, the nation’s newspapers were filled with reports of large college parties in Florida with hundreds of people in close proximity without masks. More people flew over the Easter weekend than any other weekend since the start of the pandemic. This kind of activity has led to public health officials predicting that fourth wave.
Variants of the disease are among the dangers epidemiologist and public health officials worry about. At least one, first identified in the United Kingdom, now accounts for most new U.S. cases. This variant also could be more deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently tracks three variants for the public. They have been found in all 50 states, and a number of other variants have emerged that the CDC does not report on to the public.
The CDC tracks three variants on its website. The first of these is the B.1.1.7. It has 19,554 cases reported across all 50 states. There are 424 cases reported of the B.1.351 variant across 36 states, and 434 reported cases of the P.1 variant across 28 states.
The state with the most variant cases reported is Florida. It has 3,494 reported cases of the B.1.1.7. variant. It has 87 cases of the P.1 variant reported and 25 cases of the B.1.351 variant reported.