The COVID-19 curve in the United States is rising again after months of decline, with the number of new cases per day doubling over the past three weeks.
The rise has been driven by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates and Fourth of July gatherings.
Confirmed infections climbed to an average of about 23,600 a day on Monday, up from 11,300 on June 23, according to Johns Hopkins University data. And all but two states – Maine and South Dakota – reported that case numbers have gone up over the past two weeks.
At the same time, parts of the country are running up against deep vaccine resistance, while the highly contagious mutant version of the coronavirus that was first detected in India is accounting for an ever-larger share of infections.
Nationally, 55.6 per cent of all Americans have received at least one COVID-19 shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even with the latest surge, cases in the US are nowhere near their peak of 250,000 per day in January. And deaths are running at under 260 per day on average after topping out at more than 3400 over the winter – a testament to how effectively the vaccine can prevent serious illness and death in those who happen to become infected.
While the Biden administration has had success vaccinating older Americans, young adults have shown less urgency to get the shots.