As vaccines are being distributed across the nation, the surge of new COVID-19 cases in the United States continues with no end in sight.
The New York Times reports the daily average of new COVID-19 cases this past week was 216,163. That’s 7 percent higher than the average recorded 2 weeks ago.
The new average includes the 201,723 new cases reported on Dec. 21.
Overall, the United States has now confirmed more than 18 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations have now topped 110,000.
U.S. COVID-19-related deaths now exceed 320,000. That includes the 1,963 deaths recorded on Dec. 21.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts the United States will top 560,000 deaths by April 1 if current conditions continue.
The New York Times daily tracking graph shows 29 states where “new cases are higher and staying high.”
There are 20 states where cases are “higher but going down.”
There is one state, Hawaii, that is listed as “lower but going up.”
A weekly tracking graph by Reuters that was updated on Dec. 21 reports that there were 1.5 million new COVID-19 cases this past week as well as more than 18,000 deaths.
The case numbers were 1 percent lower than the previous week. Deaths were almost 7 percent higher.
The rate of positive test results nationwide was slightly more than 11 percent this past week, down from 12 percent the previous week. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a level above 5 percent to be “concerning.”
Iowa and Idaho were the highest at more than 40 percent. In all, 31 states had a rate above 10 percent.
The New York Times reports there’s been progress made in the number of new cases in Midwest states.
However, there are troubling trends in the South as well as in Arizona and California.
Reuters reports there were 17 states where new COVID-19 cases rose this past week.
In terms of percentage, Hawaii showed the largest increase among states for newly confirmed cases. The state recorded 982 new positive tests, a hike of 38 percent.
California was second with an increase of 32 percent with 289,698 new cases. That includes the 61,458 new cases reported on Dec. 21, the first time the state has exceeded the 60,000 plateau in a single day.
Tennessee was third with a hike of 21 percent to 65,382 new cases.
Maine was fourth with 3,023 new cases, a jump of 17 percent.
Florida was fifth with 75,635 new cases, a hike of 11 percent
In terms of sheer numbers, California remains on top with its nearly 290,000 new cases.
Texas is still second with 110,355 new tests, an increase of 1 percent from the previous week.
Florida is third with its more than 75,000 new cases.
New York is fourth with 72,899 new cases, an increase of 5 percent.
Tennessee is fifth with more than 65,00 new cases.
There are concerns that the post-Thanksgiving surge of cases predicted before the holiday has arrived.
In addition, there are concerns about the spread of COVID-19 during holiday gatherings.
In Georgia, dozens of children in the small town of Ludowici were potentially exposed to the new coronavirus during a Christmas parade and photo shoot.
Authorities said the man and woman playing Santa and Mrs. Claus have tested positive for the disease.
Concerns are also being raised about a post-Christmas surge in mid-January. Reuters reports that despite warnings about traveling during the holiday season, 3.2 million people were screened at the nation’s airports on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is rising on an almost daily basis.
California remains the highest among states with hospitalizations. On Dec. 22, the state had 16,843 people in the hospital for COVID-19. That’s 2,000 more than reported on Dec. 17.
Texas is second with 9,856 people hospitalized, about 400 more than 5 days ago.
New York is third with 6,185 people in the hospital, about 150 more than 5 days ago.
Pennsylvania is fourth with 6,086 people hospitalized with COVID-19, about 200 fewer than the 5 days prior.
Florida is in fifth place with 5,236 hospitalizations.
There are 17 states above the 2,000 mark.
The New York Times lists 22 states where deaths have risen in the past 2 weeks.
The Reuters graph lists 32 states where deaths have increased from the previous week.
Washington had the highest percentage increase among states at 124 percent with 238 deaths.
Delaware was second with a 100 percent increase for a total of 46 deaths, according to Reuters.
Oregon was third with 186 deaths, a 52 percent hike.
Arizona was fourth with an increase of 51 percent with 614 deaths.
It was followed by California with an increase of 46 percent for a total of 1,581 deaths.
In terms of sheer numbers, California recorded the most deaths with its nearly 1,600.
Texas was second with 1,411 deaths this past week, an increase of 1 percent.
Pennsylvania followed with 1,351 deaths, an increase of 10 percent.
Illinois was fourth with 1,068 deaths, a decrease of more than 12 percent.
Michigan was fifth with 879 deaths, a jump of less than 1 percent.