State of Affairs: August 2, 2021
The South is burning. But, the vaccines are still holding up, thanks to new data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
We are well on our way into Wave 4, which is already worse than Waves 1 and 2. We are at the same case rate as we were in February 2021 and cases continue to increase quickly.
Every state has increasing cases, but the South continues to differentiate itself from the rest of the country. Louisiana is now in the lead (89 per 100,000), followed by Florida (74 per 100,000), Arkansas (62 per 100,000), and Mississippi (50 per 100,000). Texas now lands in the top 10 states, with 32 cases per 100,000.
Florida, in particular, is important to highlight. With only 6.5% of the U.S. population, it’s making up more than 20% of cases. Over the weekend, Florida reported 21,683 cases in ONE day, which is the biggest one-day increase on record. They also have the highest rate of hospitalization in the country (38 per 100,000). Yesterday, Florida broke its previous record for hospitalizations from last July with 10,207 hospitalized for COVID19.
There are now 2,528 counties with “high” or “substantial” spread, meaning everyone in those counties are recommended to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. To find your county, go here.
Unsurprisingly, hospitalizations continue to increase and follow a 3-week lag behind cases. And, also unsurprisingly, the states with the lowest vaccination rates have the highest hospitalization rates; states with the highest vaccination rates have the lowest hospitalization rates.
As of July 26, 2021, 6,587 breakthrough infections resulted in hospitalization or death.
The CDC isn’t tracking mild or moderate breakthrough cases, which continues to be a big mistake. Cue the Kaiser Family Foundation who has been tracking data across 24 states. Over the weekend, they reported that almost all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have occurred among people who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated:
Unvaccinated accounted for 92.02% of cases in Oklahoma to 99.85% Connecticut.
Among hospitalizations, unvaccinated accounted for 95.02% in Alaska to 99.93% in New Jersey.
The daily pace of people getting their first shot is the highest it’s been in a while. And, while this is fantastic, protection won’t kick in for another 2 (Johnson and Johnson) or 4 (Moderna or Pfizer) weeks. At this pace, it will take another 7 months to cover 75% of the population.
Have a nice week, YLE