Us Covid Cases Start To Rise Again As The Holidays Approach
After declining most of the fall, COVID-19 cases are rising again in many parts of the U.S.hide caption
After declining most of the fall, COVID-19 cases are rising again in many parts of the U.S.
It’s a worrying sign for the U.S. ahead of the holiday travel season: coronavirus infections are rising in more than half of all states. Experts warn this could be the start of an extended winter surge.
The rise is a turnaround after cases had steadily declined from mid September to late October. The country is now averaging more than 83,000 cases a day about a 14% increase compared to a week ago, and 12% more than two weeks ago.
“I hate to say it, but I suspect we’re at the start of a new winter surge,” says Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
Growing outbreaks in the Midwest and Northeast are most responsible for pushing up the national numbers, and that comes after many weeks of high case counts and stress on states in the Mountain West where some hospitals are dealing with crisis levels of patients.
“There are still large swaths of the country under-immunized and even among states that are relatively well-vaccinated, like Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota and Vermont, we’re seeing sustained transmission,” says Rutherford.
Despite the concerning trends, the expectation among experts who model the pandemic’s course is that a surge will not bring the same level of death and severe disease as last year.
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Covid-19 cases are on the rise in the United States again. But this time, the story is more complicated than it was in previous waves.
Since early January, when the United States hit a peak of 260,000 new cases every day on average, case numbers have been in more or less constant decline. Tens of millions of people were inoculated against Covid-19 in the following months. By late June, the country was averaging just 11,000 new cases per day.
But as of July 18, the US is seeing more than 31,000 new cases daily on average, nearly triple the case levels of just a few weeks ago.
So far, hospitalizations have not increased as much: Theyre up about one-third compared to two weeks ago. Deaths, likewise, are still comparatively low: a seven-day average of 258, compared to January when the US was losing more than 3,000 people per day. Both measures are still growing, if not yet as rapidly as cases.
Confirmed cases are a leading indicator. Somebody tests positive for the disease, but it may take two weeks for them to become sick enough to go to the hospital and even longer for them to die if they do not recover.
This is still true when cases accelerate, so do deaths, eventually and the current trends reflect that basic reality.
Boosters Expanding To All Ontarians
Third doses are also part of the strategy to help combat the rise of the Omicron variant, health officials said.
The province says all Ontarians will become eligible for booster shots as of Jan. 4, 2022, with appointments to be booked six months after receiving a second dose.
Those 50 and up are set to become eligible to book a third dose as of 8 a.m. on Dec. 13.
Early lab data has indicated that a third dose provides much better protection against the more infectious Omicron variant.
Moore said the province is working on expanding its capacity to administer doses more quickly.
We are looking at a means by which we can enhance our capacity to deliver vaccine and we are having those active discussions, he said. Were at 70,000 doses a day right now. We’re trying to get up to 110-120,000 doses a day, and we’ll try further.
Covid Cases Rising Again In Nyc: How Many Are Breakthrough Infections
Since Jan. 17, when the first New York City residents were fully vaccinated, there have been more than 66,000 breakthrough cases throughout the city.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Despite more than 60,000 breakthrough cases of the coronavirus in New York City this year, the boroughs medical experts continue to stress that vaccinations are our best bet to eventually end the pandemic.
Experts have repeatedly stated that COVID-19 infections in people who are vaccinated commonly referred to as breakthrough cases — are to be expected, but that in most instances, the accompanying illness will be less severe and less likely to result in hospitalization or death.
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Coronavirus Second Wave Why Cases Increase
When the coronavirus pandemic began early in 2020, experts wondered if there would be waves of cases, a pattern seen in other virus pandemics. The overall pattern so far has been one of increasing cases of COVID-19, with a surge in the summer and a larger one in the fall. Some locations that saw a high number of coronavirus infections early on, followed by a decline, are having a second wave of increased cases.
What will the future hold? Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, sheds light on what we know now about COVID-19 in communities and why the numbers of infections increase during certain times.
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Cases Have Increased Recently And Are Very High
An average of 2,590 cases per day were reported in New York City, a 71 percent increase from the average two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 7 residents have been infected, a total of 1,183,680 reported cases.Right now, New York City is at avery high risk for unvaccinated people.Read more about risk below.
More Infectious Strains Sluggish Vaccine Rollouts
Last year, Italy became the Western epicentre of the pandemic when the virus first surged across Europe, and the images of military trucks in Bergamo carrying bodies are still fresh in memory. Soon after, many European countries became overwhelmed.
But academics have cautioned against viewing the recent surge as a Europe-wide third wave.
You have to take it nation by nation for now, Guillermo Martínez de Tejada, professor of Microbiology and Parasitology at the Universidad de Navarra in northern Spain, told Al Jazeera.
Like Italy, Spain was particularly hard hit by the first wave in 2020.
Some countries are clearly in trouble, but in others, like Portugal and Spain, figures arent nearly so high, said Martínez de Tejada.
Theres been a big increase in terms of testing everywhere, too. The more you look for COVID-19, the more youre going to find.
Then theres the question of these new strains, particularly the British one, reportedly 70 percent more infectious. Thats undoubtedly boosted cases, too.
As of last week, according to Bloombergs Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker, the EU had administered eight first doses per 100 people, compared with 33 for the United Kingdom and 25 for the United States.
The slow rollout has been attributed to seemingly chronic delays in supplies dating back to January, when reduced shipments of the Pfizer vaccine sparked rows with Italy.
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Why Are Numbers Rising
One of the reasons why numbers are going to continue to spike is because healthcare providers are gaining access to more testing supplies.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, as of March 26 there were 432,655 tests administered in the United States, with 65,512 returning back positive.
The majority of these tests were administered in the last 10 days, due to improved access to testing materials. Before this, only people with severe symptoms were being tested.
As our testing ability becomes more readily available, we are going to be testing people with much milder symptoms, said Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York. So what qualified for testing and a positive test last week was than what will qualify for testing next week.
A second reason why numbers will continue to climb is that theres a 2-week incubation period for COVID-19. This means it can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to even appear.
The significance of this is that healthcare providers still dont know how many cases are out there and how many will continue to crop up.
We need to let the virus incubation period pass at least once or twice to start seeing the downstream effects on social distancing, Cioe-Pena added. Wed expect to see an effect in 1 to 2 weeks, assuming the numbers and types of people we test stay the same.
Where We Are With Vaccines
The CDC reports there have been more than 363 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the country.
More than 202 million people have received at least one dose. More than 171 million people are fully vaccinated.
That means that nearly 60.9 percent of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose. About 73 percent of the countrys adult population has received at least one dose.
California has administered the most doses, at more than 47 million. Thats followed by Texas with more than 29 million.
New York and Florida have both administered more than 24 million doses. Pennsylvania is fifth with nearly 15 million.
None of those states, however, is in the top five for percentage of the population thats received at least one dose:
|States with the highest percentage of vaccination|
|1. Vermont: 76%|
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Why Are Coronavirus Cases And Hospitalizations On The Rise In The Us
The U.S. is now reporting more than 94,000 new COVID-19 cases each day.
New concerns as COVID cases and hospitalizations rise
With coronavirus infection rates back on the rise, many Americans are wondering why the U.S. is, once again, experiencing surge in cases and hospitalizations, despite widespread vaccinations.
The U.S. is now reporting more than 94,000 new COVID-19 cases each day — up by 47% since late October. And 35 states — nearly all of them in the north or mountain region — have seen an uptick in daily cases of 10% or more in the last two weeks.
Just under 53,000 COVID-19 positive patients are currently receiving care in hospitals across the country — up by more than 7,000 patients from earlier this month.
Several states — including Michigan, Maine and New Hampshire — are experiencing record-breaking surges.
Experts say a confluence of factors is likely driving the country’s recent increases in infections, including the more than 100 million Americans who remain completely unvaccinated, cold weather and relaxed restrictions, the highly transmissible delta variant, and waning vaccine immunity.
The 312 Places Where Covid Is Still Rising
Cases per 100,000 in the seven days up to December 5. The figure on the RIGHT shows infections, also per 100,000, in the seven days up to November 28.
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Latest Coronavirus News As Of 1pm On 3 December
Three different vaccines lead to big increases in antibody levels when used as boosters
Three covid-19 vaccines given as boosters in a UK trial were safe and provoked strong immune responses, researchers have reported. The study involved 2878 adults aged 30 or over, all of whom previously had two doses of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine or the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. They were given booster vaccines 10 to 12 weeks after their second dose.
The trial tested seven vaccines as boosters: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, Janssen, Moderna, Valneva and Curevac. The researchers measured levels of antibodies and T cells in the participants blood. The Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines all produced strong antibody and T cell responses, regardless of which vaccine had been given for the first two doses. The results suggest that peoples immunity from covid-19 increased, although the study does not yet include data on how well people are protected against infection or disease.
The trial was carried out in early 2021, when alpha was the dominant coronavirus variant in the UK. Saul Frost, the trial lead at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said that although this trial cannot show how effective boosters are against the omicron variant, the T cell responses could be helpful in this respect.
Other coronavirus news
European Countries Reintroduce Lockdowns As Covid Cases Surge
The situation in Vermont is striking given that the state has recorded fewer than 400 deaths during the pandemic 48 deaths over the last four weeks means more than 1 in 8 of all deaths have happened since mid-October. Vermont still has the lowest death rate of any state, however.
The rise in deaths in Vermont is also notable because it is the most vaccinated state, with 72 percent of residents fully vaccinated, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.
Seasonal factors, including the onset of colder weather that is forcing people to spend more time indoors, are also playing a role, Carney said.
Carney added that the troubles vary by county, saying the surge in cases is most acute in rural areas in the northeastern part of the state.
These are areas that also have the lowest vaccination rates in the state, she said. So that confirms that these factors are all working together, and its why were continuing to emphasize the essentialness of vaccines as our primary prevention strategy.
In addition to rising caseloads, health departments in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are recording upticks in hospitalizations.
Dr. Aalok Khole, an infectious disease physician at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, New Hampshire, said many of the newly admitted patients who require intensive care are younger compared to earlier stages of the pandemic, when older people made up the bulk of those who were at highest risk of severe complications from Covid-19.
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Why Are Covid Cases Rising In Europe Despite Vaccination Efforts
Infectious strains, sluggish vaccine rollouts and a lax attitude to physical distancing have seen cases surge in some countries.
Across the European Union, COVID-19 cases have begun to rise steadily, from 200 per million in mid-February to 270 per million last weekend.
That level is still a long way off from the EU record of 490 per million in November, but a worrying trend nonetheless.
We are weary of it all, but were determined, too, a doctor at an Italian hospital told Al Jazeera, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Most regions in Italy, including Rome and Milan, are now classified as high-risk and there will be a three-day national lockdown over Easter.
We were in a period of relative stability around December and January, but now the figures are worsening again very quickly, said the doctor.
In her large hospital in central Italy, there are concerns about the average age and medical condition of recent COVID-19 patients many have observed a shift. It is no longer mostly elderly people with underlying illnesses in the wards, but also previously fully healthy 50-year-olds.
Its a drastic situation, she said.
Across much of Eastern Europe, too, in countries such as Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic, COVID-19 infection figures are soaring.
Covid Cases Rising In La County Possibly Starting Winter Surge
LOS ANGELES â Exactly two weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday and its associated gatherings of family and friends, Los Angeles County is seeing a resulting increase in COVID-19 cases, the public health director said Thursday, calling the trend a possible start of yet another winter surge of infections.
In an online briefing, Barbara Ferrer said the increase was visible by Dec. 1, when the county’s seven-day average daily number of new cases topped 1,000 â a 19% increase from the previous week. She also noted a resulting increase in hospitalizations, with the daily number of COVID patients nearing roughly 600.
What You Need To Know
- Barbara Ferrer said COVID-19 case increases were visible by Dec. 1, when the county’s seven-day average daily number of new cases topped 1,000 â a 19% increase from the previous week
- She said the county’s current average daily rate of new infections has risen to 13 per 100,000 residents, up from 8 per 100,000 residents a week ago
- The seven-day cumulative rate of infections rose to 113 per 100,000, moving the county back into the category of “high” transmission as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Another 1,718 new infections were also reported, giving the county a pandemic total of 1,541,886
“We do expect increases to continue on the heels of our Thanksgiving gatherings, but already, based on trends, we are looking at possible beginnings of a winter surge,” Ferrer said.
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