US officials said Friday that the delta type of COVID-19 is the now dominant strain worldwide, and is leading to an increase in the number of deaths across the United States, roughly among the unvaccinated.
Cases of COVID-19 are up 70 percent from the previous week and deaths are up 26 percent, with most of the increase occurring in counties with lower vaccination rates, Rochelle Wallinsky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news release. average. instructions.
“This has become an epidemic of the unvaccinated,” Walinsky said, adding that 97 percent of people hospitalized in the United States with COVID-19 are not immune.
According to officials, four states are responsible for 40 percent of the increase in cases, with Florida alone accounting for one in five new national cases over the past week.
Besides Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Nevada were cited as states with significant increases in cases.
The White House’s coronavirus coordinator, Jeff Zents, said the United States has an adequate supply of booster shots “if and when” they need to be deployed, but the focus now is on persuading the reluctant to protect themselves and their families. On a positive note, Zenitz said about five million people in the country have been vaccinated in the past 10 days, including many in states with lower vaccination rates so far.
Currently, according to CDC statistics, 65.2 percent of the eligible population over age 12 has received at least one shot, with 56.5 percent fully vaccinated, but there is great variation across the 50 states.
US officials are emphasizing young adults in targeted vaccination letters that they say are hospitalized more frequently than earlier in the pandemic. The White House brought teenage pop star Olivia Rodrigo to the White House earlier this week for some public service positions.
By contrast, 79.3% of Americans over 65 are fully vaccinated, with a single shot measuring nine percentage points higher.
Los Angeles County reauthorizes inner mask
State and local officials are reconsidering the extent of mask use, most notably Los Angeles County in an announcement late Thursday.
The county, with a population of 10 million, and the second largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, is one of several jurisdictions recommending or imposing the wearing of masks or other epidemic restrictions in recent days as cases rise to alarming levels in many parts of the country. United State .
“We are asking everyone to be hidden indoors at public places and businesses, regardless of their vaccination status so we can stem the increasing level of transmission we’re seeing,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said on Twitter Thursday.
The agency said the mandate would go into effect on Saturday evening at the minute before midnight.
The announcement comes after six consecutive days of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in Los Angeles County, with nearly 400 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, up 275 from the previous week. Nine new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Wednesday.
More than 1,500 new infections were reported on Thursday.
Also Thursday, Sacramento and Fresno counties in California recommended that masks be worn indoors even by vaccinated people. Officials in Austin, Texas, on Thursday urged people who have not been vaccinated or are at high risk to avoid travel, indoor gatherings, dining and shopping, and to wear masks.
Earlier this week, Yolo County in California also recommended masking of enclosed spaces, and in Springfield, Missouri, children and teachers were required to wear masks during summer school.
Masks on mass transit still necessary: CDC official
Despite the trends, a group of Republican lawmakers this week introduced legislation to ban mask mandates on public transportation, arguing that it no longer makes sense as more Americans are being vaccinated. Arizona Congressman Andy Bigs said the transportation mask rules “are kept only by those who enjoy being in control of our daily lives.”
In mid-May, the CDC said that people who are fully vaccinated can avoid wearing masks indoors in most places — with some exceptions such as in transit.
It has been a key tool in preventing transmission of COVID-19, said a senior US health official who signed a blanket order for masks to be worn on nearly all forms of public transportation.
Marty Citron, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, told Reuters Thursday that the agency’s “current position” is a mandate that should not be revoked.
“Masks are really powerful and we have to make sure they are part of our arsenal,” Citron said in an interview. “We mask the mask not just to protect ourselves – we mask because it’s the way we care for and express our concern for each other.
Rules in place since January require masks to be worn by all travelers on planes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis and rideshares and in transportation hubs such as airports, bus or ferry stations, train stations, subways and ports.
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The mask mandate has been a source of great friction in American aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that since Jan. 1, it has received 3,420 unruly passenger reports, including 2,559 reports of refusal to wear masks.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said July 11 was the busiest day since February 2020, with nearly 2.2 million passengers.
“I understand we’ve all gotten through this emotionally, but I think we’ll succeed together if we realize that the virus is the enemy and not your citizen or the person sitting next to you on a plane or the piece of cloth you should wear on your face,” Citron said.
There is no expiration date for the CDC transit mask order. In April, the TSA extended mask requirements until September 13.
Under the administration of Donald Trump, the CDC’s campaign to enforce masks in transit has been outlawed.