In the past week (June 5 through 11), the U.S. reported about 98,000 new cases, according to the CDC. This amounts to:
- An average of 14,000 new cases each day
- 30 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans
- 6% fewer new cases than last week (May 29-June 4)
Last week, America also saw:
- 15,700 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals (4.8 for every 100,000 people)
- 2,400 new COVID-19 deaths (0.7 for every 100,000 people)
- 69% of new cases in the country now Alpha-caused (as of June 5)
- 6% of new cases now Delta-caused (as of June 5)
- An average of 1.1 million vaccinations per day (per Bloomberg)
After several weeks of sharp declines, new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. now appear to be in a plateau. There are a few factors likely influencing this shift.
First, the nation’s public health agencies (and data reporting systems) are making up for the reporting lags caused by Memorial Day weekend. As we’ve discussed in the CDD before, holidays always lead to low case numbers immediately after, followed by slight bumps in the following week.
Second, vaccinations are still progressing at a slow pace—and the unvaccinated remain vulnerable. Jurisdictions with fewer vaccinated adults are seeing more cases, more hospital admissions, and higher PCR test positivity, as Cyrus Shahpar, the White House COVID-19 Director, pointed out on Twitter this week.
Third, the Delta variant (a.k.a. B.1.617.2, a.k.a. the variant first discovered in India) is rapidly spreading in the U.S.—making the unvaccinated even more vulnerable. (More on that later in the issue.)
Still, the vaccines are protecting many of the most vulnerable, leading to continued low hospitalization and death numbers. Total confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations for the country are below 20,000 for the first time since HHS started tracking this metric.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is responding to global vaccination needs by pledging to send 500 million doses abroad by the end of 2022. Many of those doses won’t go out until next year, and the world does need faster distribution in order to prevent further variant evolution. But it’s a decent start.