The United States is now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections per day as the delta variant sweeps the nation and cases swell among unvaccinated people.
According to The Associated Press, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases is 107,143, representing a nearly 10-fold increase since late June when daily total cases averaged about 11,000.
The U.S. confirmed 255,163 new COVID-19 cases and 1,156 additional virus-related deaths in the 24-hour period that ended at around 5 a.m. Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
“Our models show that if we don’t (vaccinate people), we could be up to several hundred thousand cases a day, similar to our surge in early January,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said on CNN this week.
Meanwhile, the seven-day average for daily new COVID-19 deaths nearly doubled in the past two weeks from about 270 to nearly 500 per day as of Friday, the Johns Hopkins data indicated.
In Houston, health care officials said the latest surge in COVID-19 cases is pushing the local system to nearly “a breaking point,” as some ambulances waited hours to unload patients at area hospitals where no beds are available.
Dr. David Persse, Houston’s chief medical officer and the city’s EMS medical director, told the AP on Thursday that he is concerned the transport backlogs may lead to prolonged response times to emergency medical calls.
“The health care system right now is nearly at a breaking point ... For the next three weeks or so, I see no relief on what’s happening in emergency departments,” Persse said.
By 8 a.m. Saturday, the United States had confirmed nearly 35.7 million cumulative COVID-19 cases, resulting in 616,501 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins tally.
Meanwhile, global cases surpassed 200 million on Friday and stood at nearly 202 million Saturday morning, resulting in nearly 4.3 million virus-related deaths, the data confirmed.
According to the AP, it took the United States about nine months to amass its initial 100,000 COVID-19 daily cases in November, before peaking at roughly 250,000 daily cases in January.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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