News cases of COVID-19 topped 100,000 in America on Wednesday, according to the Bing COVID-19 Tracker. They surged 113,181 to 35,438,424. The pace was less than half of that a month ago. The Delta variant, which has caused almost all new cases in the past two weeks, spreads much faster than the earlier versions and is the primary cause for the surge. It has hit states with low vaccination rates particularly hard. Recently Texas and Florida have had a third of new daily cases in the United States.
It is easy to forget how badly COVID-19 has savaged the United States since January 2020. Officially, America’s 35,438,424 confirmed cases are about 18% of the world total, despite large surges in high population countries such as Brazil, India and Indonesia. The number of U.S. fatal cases is 619,379, or about 15% of the global figure. Most of the new cases came in waves. The first was in April of last year. Another occurred in late summer, and the worst just after the December holidays. A fourth wave apparently has started.
Several states have vaccination rates of little more than 40%. In some other states, the rates are above 60%.
The most critical measure of the increase in cases and deaths is hospitalizations. This figure is rising particularly fast in states and counties with low vaccination rates. Public health officials trace cases, deaths and hospitalizations by 100,000, which allows comparisons of large counties and states with those that are much smaller.
Sixty-one percent of Americans 18 years or older are fully vaccinated. However, the figure is below 48% in Mississippi, Wyoming, Louisiana, Alabama and West Virginia. In some cities in these states, hospitals are at capacity. Florida’s daily cases have topped the figure last seen during the horrible third wave last winter.