National numbers, August 29

COVID-19 cases in the U.S. just keep rising, approaching 150,000 new cases a day. Case numbers have not been this high since January, during the winter surge. The case rise does seem to be decelerating, however: cases are only up 3% this week compared to last week, after much higher jumps in late July and early August.

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National numbers, August 8

Delta continues to dominate COVID-19 cases in the U.S. The CDC updated its variant estimates this week, reporting that Delta made up 93% of U.S. cases at the end of July. It’s driving rising cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

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Unpacking Delta numbers from this week’s headlines

It’s no surprise that Delta (B.1.617.2) is bad news. From the moment it was identified in India, this variant has been linked to rapid transmission and rapid case rises, even in areas where the vaccination rates are high. This week, however, the CDC’s changed mask guidance—combined with new reports on breakthrough cases associated with Delta—has triggered widespread conversation about precisely how much damage this variant can do.

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National numbers, August 1

Not only is the Delta variant driving a case rise, it’s driving an exponential case rise. This week, about 466,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported; that number is more than five times higher than what we saw during the week ending July 2.

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National numbers, July 18

Cases have been rising for a couple of weeks now, but we’re now seeing the sharpest increase since fall 2020. Between July 9 and July 16, we went from an average of 15,000 new cases a day to an average of 26,000 new cases a day.

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