A man inquires in a mobile test car in Brooklyn, New York, the United States, Jan.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
The seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases in the US surpassed the high point of last summer when the nation did not have an approved Covid-19 vaccine, said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Monday, citing the data released over the weekend.
U.S. Covid cases, based on a seven-day moving average, hit 72,790 on Friday, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s higher than the high of the average daily cases last summer, when the country reported about 68,700 new cases per day, according to the CDC.
However, the daily average for Covid cases has fallen since then, to 68,326 new cases per day on Saturday and 63,250 new cases per day on Sunday, according to the agency.
While data published on the CDC website shows a decrease in the seven-day average in daily case numbers over the following days, a separate coronavirus data set maintained by Johns Hopkins University shows no decrease. Rather, there is a continuous increase in the seven-day average to almost 80,000 new cases per day from Sunday.
“Although we absolutely want to deal with this pandemic, Covid-19 is clearly not done with us yet, and therefore our fight must take a little longer,” said Walensky during a Covid briefing at the White House. “This is difficult. This is difficult. But we are stuck in it. And as we learn more about Covid, we continue to rely on proven ways to protect ourselves, our children and our loved ones.”
The CDC director’s comments come as Covid cases begin to rise again in the U.S., with the highly contagious Delta variant fueling infections, particularly in regions of the nation with low vaccination rates.
One in three Covid cases occurred in Florida and Texas in the past week, White House Covid Tsar Jeff Zients said on Monday. About 17% of the cases came from seven states with low vaccination rates, he added.
According to Walensky, the seven-day average of hospital admissions is about 6,200 per day, an increase of about 41% over the previous seven-day period. The seven-day average of daily deaths has also increased to 300 per day, an increase of more than 25%, she said, but still well below last summer’s high of more than 1,100 daily deaths in early August 2020.
U.S. health officials are urging more Americans to get vaccinated against Covid as the vaccinations have been shown to be very protective against the virus and its new variant, particularly against serious illness, hospitalization and death.
As of early Monday, updated CDC data showed that 70% of US adults have received at least one shot of a Covid vaccine.
The milestone is about a month behind President Joe Biden’s original July 4th target as health officials struggled to convince some Americans to get the shots.
To increase the number of vaccinations given, some state and local officials have either offered vaccination incentives or introduced mandates.
While a very small proportion of those vaccinated can suffer so-called breakthrough infections, Walensky emphasized on Monday that the vast majority of the spread in the country is among the unvaccinated.
“If you are not vaccinated – please protect yourself and get vaccinated,” she said.