By Maria Caspani
NEW YORK (Reuters) –are at a six-month high, fueled by the rapid spread of the Delta variant across swathes of the country grappling with low vaccination rates.
According to a Reuters tally of public health data,have averaged 100,000 for three days in a row, up 35% over the past week. The disease surge was most substantial in Louisiana, Florida, and Arkansas. (Graphic of U.S. ) https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/USA-TRENDS/dgkvlgkrkpb
Hospitalizations rose 40%, and deaths, a lagging indicator, registered an 18% uptick in the past week, with the most fatalities by population in Arkansas. The intensifying spread of theof some significant, high-profile events. One notable exception is an annual motorcycle rally in proceeding as planned.
According to the analysis, Floridafor hospitalizations for eight days in a row. In that state, most students are due back in the classroom this as some school districts debate whether to require masks for pupils. On Sunday, the head of the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union announced a shift in the course by backing for U.S. teachers to protect young students.
The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 is rising nationwide; a trend healthbeing more likely to infect children than the original Alpha strain. With the virus again upending Americans’ lives after a brief summer lull, the push to vaccinate those still reluctant has .
States, including California, New York, and Virginia, havefor state employees and several cities. The administration of President set new rules late last month requiring federal workers to provide proof of vaccination or face regular testing, mask mandates, and travel restrictions.
In the private sector, many companies are also. , meatpacker Tyson Foods Inc, and Microsoft require vaccination of employees.
The evolving pandemic and the rapid community spread spurred by thethe cancellation of some large-scale events. Last week, organizers canceled the New York Auto Show set for later this . The New Orleans Jazz Fest was canceled for the second as Louisiana fought a severe outbreak.
But fears about the Delta variant seem not to have dampened the mood in Sturgis, a small town in South Dakota that welcomes hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. gathering, Aug. 6-15, might already attract record crowds.
“It is one of the biggest crowds I have seen,” Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin said in an email. “I think there will be some spread.” Sturgis has partnered withto provide COVID-19 self-test kits to rally-goes, but the event does not require proof of vaccination or mask-wearing.
, the rally became the super-spreader event that many feared it would become. While cases and hospitalizations were relatively low in South Dakota when the event started on Aug. 7, 2020, the state set a record for three months later.
According to a Reuters tally, in November alone, the state lost 521 people to COVID-19,in October. (Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by David Gregorio)