Delta Wave Goes Coast-to-Coast in U.S., Showing Variant’s Force
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Covid-19 wave that started in low-vaccination states in the Ozarks and Deep South has now engulfed the country, with cases and hospitalizations at their highest since February.
Thirty-eight states have transmission levels considered high by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning they’re posting at least 100 cases per 100,000 residents or have positivity rates of at least 10%. The other 12 states and the nation’s capital have transmission rates that are considered substantial, the second-worst category.
The latest U.S. wave began in low-vaccination states. Intensive-care units are now swamped with virus patients in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
But the faster-spreading variant is finding its way even into states that outperformed in the vaccination campaign and have enforced strong mitigation measures. Twenty-three states and the nation’s capital have seen their seven-day average cases increase at least 50% in the past week, including such highly vaccinated states as Vermont, Washington state and Hawaii, according to CDC data.
Vaccines are still helping cut transmission and improve medical outcomes, though they haven’t been a silver bullet. In Washington state, for instance, lower vaccinated counties had high rates of transmission, the data show, but even the Seattle metropolitan area is getting hit.
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