DENVER (KDVR) – A surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly infectious Delta variant is spurring a new round of public health measures aimed at limiting another wave of infections. Public health data show that the surge is strongest in states with lower vaccination rates.
Nationally, COVIDs rates have risen since their low at the summer solstice. This has forced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into a downward spiral. revisit mask use guidelinesEven for those who have been previously vaccinated.
On June 21, the 7-day average for new cases was 11,609 per day — its lowest point since the pandemic began. On July 23, the daily average had quadrupled, to 47,683 cases per day. This is almost the same rate as the national daily average in May.
Altogether, the nation’s states added 856,897 COVID cases between June 21 and July 25. Only a few states claim most of the new cases.
Only five states account for half of the U.S. COVID case additions in the last month: Florida, Texas and California, as well as Missouri and Louisiana.
Florida alone accounts for 20% of the summer’s COVID cases with 163,737 — roughly twice as many as Texas, the state with the next-highest total. Texas added 89.286, or 10%, to the total summer COVID case count since June 21. California added about the same amount, with 83 9899.
However, pinning the surge on the nation’s most populous states is only part of the story. The mid-sized states Missouri and Louisiana saw an increase of 52,585 cases and 35,197, respectively.
A map of current COVID rate and vaccine rates generally have an inverted relationship. For example, heavily vaccinated states tend to have low COVID levels, and vice versa. Gulf Coast states and Southern states are seeing some of the nation’s higher COVID rates and lower vaccination rates.
The first chart shows high per-capita vaccination rates in darker tones, while the second chart shows high infection rates for darker tones.
Governors have been able to point the finger at the vaccine-hesitant for the recent surge in governors’ attendance.
“An individual’s choice not to get vaccinated is now impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in statements to the press earlier this week.
The Associated Press reports that Newsom has been publicly blaming “right wing” politicians and media for perpetuating misinformation about the safety and necessity of the vaccines.
AP polling done in conjunction with the Center for Public Affairs Research recently found that 43% of Republicans said they had not been vaccinated or definitely wouldn’t be, compared to 10% of Democrats. However, these findings were made prior to some high-profile Republican news personalities voiced more support for the vaccine campaign last week.
Last Thursday, Kay Ivey, Republican Governor of Alabama, made no ambiguity about her position.
“The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks,” Gov. Ivey spoke at a Birmingham event on Thursday. “Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. The unvaccinated are also at risk of dying. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”
The CDC had previously stated that Americans who have been vaccinated need not wear masks in crowded indoor areas. That guidance was reversed by the agency on Tuesday, recommending that Americans who live in areas with high levels of vaccinations be fully vaccinated “substantial and high”Masks should be worn indoors in public places to reduce transmission rates