Twenty-four states have seen an uptick of at least 10% in COVID-19 cases over the past week, Johns Hopkins University data shows, as health experts and the federal government keep pressing for more people to get vaccinated.
The rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has only ratcheted up the pressure.
That variant, first identified in India, accounted for 51.7% of all new COVID-19 infections in the country over the two weeks that ended Saturday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated.
"We should think about the Delta variant as the 2020 version of COVID-19 on steroids," Andy Slavitt, a former senior adviser to Joe Biden's COVID Response Team, told CNN on Wednesday. "It's twice as infectious. Fortunately, unlike 2020, we actually have a tool that stops the Delta variant in its tracks: It's called vaccine."