Since the U.S. reported its first COVID-19 infection, 1 in 500 Americans have died from the virus, a bleak record in the country’s fight against the pandemic.
Hospitals across the nation are still battling with the surge of cases and more children are now getting infected with the more transmissible Delta Variant. Officials are now implementing vaccinations in companies and the use of masks in schools as a move to manage the spread of the virus and prevent more deaths, CNN reported.
Hospitalizations and deaths increased rapidly after early summer when the Delta variant dominated the nation.
The U.S. is averaging over 152, 300 new COVID-19 cases daily over the past week since as of Tuesday. This is 13 times higher than the cases on June 22 when it was averaging 11, 303 daily, the lowest record for 2021, Johns Hopkins University stated.
As of Tuesday, average deaths in the U.S. are 1,805 daily over a week, notably higher than 2018 average reached on July 5.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 54% of the population being fully vaccinated, the rate of people instigating vaccinations daily, which is over 341, 900, is a 4% drop from last week and 28% lower from a month earlier.
Health experts acknowledge that getting the vaccine is the best source of protection against the virus, stating that most of the people being hospitalized and killed are those who are unvaccinated.
In Pennsylvania, the acting secretary of health said on Tuesday that from Jan. 1 to Sept. 7, 97% of the state’s deaths were among those who are not vaccinated. Aside from getting the vaccine, masking is another strong protection against the virus, experts say.
The CDC still recommends people, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors in areas where there is a high community transmission.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, where hospitals for children are full of COVID-19 and respiratory cases, Governor Mike DeWine is urging schools to require masks, after the state legislature told him it would veto any mandates he issues.
“Reasonable people may disagree about a lot, but we can all agree that we must keep our children in the classroom so they don’t fall behind and so their parents can go to work and not take time off to watch their kids at home,” DeWine said.
According to top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the use of masks and getting vaccinated is the way to keep children in schools. “If you surround the kids with vaccinated people and you have everybody wear a mask, you can get a situation where the children will be relatively safe in school,” he said.