Cases and deaths from COVID-19 rose in more than half of U.S. states over the past week as vaccination rates slow and the highly transmissible delta variant spreads across the globe.
Forty-seven states reported more new COVID-19 cases last week than in the week before, and deaths rose in 30 states compared to a week earlier, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
California has seen an uptick in cases throughout July, a 124% rise from two weeks ago, Los Angeles Times data reports. The county itself has topped 1,000 cases for five straight days. But though hospitalizations remain low, they’re coming from a specific source.
“To date, we have not had a patient admitted to a [Department of Health Services] hospital who has been fully vaccinated, with either the J&J, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Every single patient that we’ve admitted for Covid is not yet fully vaccinated,” county health services director Dr. Christina Ghaly said Tuesday. The DHS runs four hospitals in the area.
More than 60% of California residents have been fully vaccinated, but vaccination rates have slowed in recent weeks.
Also in the news:
►Nebraska will resume reporting coronavirus statistics after dropping the practice a week ago after public health experts widely criticized the decision. The updates will be weekly rather than daily.
►New coronavirus cases leaped in New York in the week ending Sunday, rising 66% as 3,970 cases were reported, state and national records show.
►The delta variant is driving an uptick in caseloads around the globe, including Italy. There were 2,153 confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours, according to Italian Health Ministry figures on Wednesday. That’s more than double the 1,010 confirmed infections a week earlier.
►Argentina has reported more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, a heavy blow to a country that intermittently imposed some of the most severe lockdowns in the world, only to see erratic compliance by many people.
►Johnson & Johnson said its one-dose shot protects against the delta variant and produces an immune response that lasts eight months and counting. The company announced the preprint study results earlier this month and published the interim study results in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.
►With the Tokyo Olympics opening in just over a week, Tokyo reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in almost six months on Wednesday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said.
►Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday. That estimate eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has had more than 33.94 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 608,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: more than 188.28 million cases and more than 4 million deaths. Nearly 160 million Americans — 48.2% of the population — have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re reading: Thousands of schoolchildren on the Navajo Nation live without internet access, computers, cellular service or basics like electricity. When the pandemic hit, more than 23,398 Native American students in New Mexico lacked the high-speed internet and devices they needed for remote learning, the state’s Public Education Department concluded. The true number is significantly higher.
Americans, including Tennessee residents, media and public figures alike, took to social media after the Tennessean reported Tuesday the state health department’s halt of vaccination outreach for adolescents.
TDH’s new approach includes removing teens from postcards about vaccination doses, stopping COVID-19 vaccination events on school property and scrubbing the agency’s logo from certain documents that may be provided, according to an internal report and emails obtained by the Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network.
This goes for all vaccines. Not just COVID-19.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki commented on the firing of the state’s top vaccine official and Tennessee’s decision to abandon vaccine outreach, USA TODAY White House correspondent Joey Garrison reported Wednesday.
“We’ve of course seen the reporting and coverage of this issue,” Psaki said. “We stand against any effort that would politicize our country’s pandemic response.”
TDH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tim Jones said any information released about back-to-school vaccinations should come from the Tennessee Department of Education, not the Tennessee Department of Health, according to the email and report obtained by the Tennessean.
However, Tennessee’s former top vaccine official Dr. Michelle Fiscus, who was fired without explanation Monday, said the state’s decision to roll back vaccine outreach for minors came in response to pressure from conservative lawmakers.
“Killing the kids to own the libs,” Paulette Aniskoff, former Director of the Office of Public Engagement at the Obama White House, said on Twitter.
– Daniella Medina, Nashville Tennessean
Indonesia reported more than 54,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time Wednesday, surpassing recent daily infections in India, whose disastrous outbreak is declining, and becoming Asia’s new virus hotspot.
Officials fear that the more highly transmissible delta variant is now spreading from the islands of Java and Bali, where outbreaks prompted a partial lockdown that closed places of worship, malls, parks, and restaurants.
“I predict the outbreak will increase continuously in July as we are not able yet to prevent the spread of infections,” epidemiology expert Pandu Riono at the University of Indonesia said Wednesday. “Emergency social restrictions are still inadequate. They should be twice as stringent since we are facing the delta variant, which is two times more contagious.”
The Health Ministry reported 54,517 new cases and 991 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began above 2.6 million and the number of confirmed fatalities to more than 69,000. A month ago, daily cases were running at about 8,000.
Contributing: The Associated Press.