Anyone who’s tried to work with the federal government’s vaccination data has noticed this issue: there’s a Texas-shaped hole in the numbers. While the CDC and HHS report vaccination data for counties and metropolitan areas in the vast majority of states, data are missing for the entire state of Texas.
The CDC made a major announcement this Friday: the agency updated its recommendations for COVID-19 safety in K-12 schools. The guidance adds to growing evidence that the majority of America’s K-12 schools will be fully open in the fall. But we still do not have good data on COVID-19 in schools.
The Delta variant is now dominant in the U.S., but our high vaccination rates still put us in a much better position than the rest of the world—which is facing the super-contagious variant largely unprotected.
The Delta variant is now officially causing more than half of new cases in the U.S., per the CDC’s Nowcast estimates. This super-transmissible variant has contributed to rising cases in under-vaccinated parts of the country.
The Community Profile Reports, those extensive PDF reports and Excel files that contain everything from vaccination coverage to hospital capacity, are now published on Tuesdays and Fridays only. (Previously, these reports were posted every day.)
This week, I had the opportunity to participate in a webinar about the future of exposure notifications, the digital contact tracing systems used in about half of U.S. states. The webinar was hosted by PathCheck Foundation, a global nonprofit that works on public health technology—including exposure notification apps.
While epidemiologists may consider any new outbreak a possible source of new variants, one key way to monitor the virus/variant race is by analyzing breakthrough cases—those infections that occur after someone has been fully vaccinated. Here’s how states and the CDC are tracking these cases now, and what we know about vaccine protection against the variants.
The U.S. missed President Biden’s big vaccination goal: 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4. As of July 3, we are at 67% of adults with one dose, and 58% fully vaccinated. But rates vary widely by state and county: There are over 1,000 counties in the U.S. with one-dose vaccination rates under 30%, CDC Director Dr. Walensky said at a press briefing last week.
This is the first week since April that we’ve seen new COVID-19 case numbers go up in the U.S. It’s nominally a small bump—about 7,300 more cases than last week—but represents a 9% increase, and may be the beginning of a summer surge. (Even if we see a dip in the numbers this week due to the July 4 holiday.)