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, 567,591 Americans have died, which is about 20% of the world’s total. Confirmed cases have reached 31,397,113, 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.
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 on its website. It has 19,554 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant 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. A number of other variants have emerged that the CDC does not report on to the public. This is the state with the most variants.
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, 36% of the adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine and 22% 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, 237,796,105 doses have been delivered in the United States and 187,047,131 of them have been administered, which is 79% of those delivered.
The first state where half the people have received at least one dose is New Hampshire, at 51%, and 24% have been fully vaccinated. From the 1,003,555 doses that have been delivered, 958,018 shots have been given. That is 95% of those delivered.
New Hampshire’s leadership admits it still has a long way to go. According to WMUR, Gov. Chris Sununu said, “We’re not at the point where we should be taking victory laps on anything. We are still in the thick of it. We are working so hard, just trying to get the vaccine out.”
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