At the national level and in most U.S. states, the number of cases of coronavirus is increasing after a two-month decline observed in the country. According to experts, the new wave is caused by a mutation called BA.2, which is considered about 30% more contagious than the previous strain.
According to Johns Hopkins University data compiled by the Associated Press, the average weekly increase in new cases rose to 39,521 cases per day, up from 30,724 two weeks earlier.
According to experts, the current surge is somewhat smoothed out by the higher level of immunity of Americans formed as a result of vaccination.
At the moment, the highest prevalence rates are in the northeastern United States – more than 90% of new infections caused by the BA strain have been recorded there.2 last week, compared with 86% nationwide. Over the past 14 days, the highest rates of new COVID-19 cases per capita have been in Vermont, Rhode Island, Alaska, New York and Massachusetts.
The U.S. capital, Washington, is also among the top ten in terms of the number of new cases of infection.
According to Johns Hopkins University, in some states, such as Rhode Island and New Hampshire, the average number of new cases per day has increased by more than 100% in two weeks. A spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Health, Joseph Wendelken, said that hospitalization rates remain relatively low at the moment. According to him, now about 55 patients with COVID-19 are hospitalized, while during the pandemic this figure could reach 600 people. At the same time, 99% of Rhode Island adults have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine, and 48% have received an additional booster dose, which, according to scientists, is a key factor in protecting against the severe course of the disease.
In Vermont, where the vaccination rate is also relatively high, there are fewer patients in hospitals than at the height of the wave of the Omicron strain. According to Mark Levin, a representative of the local health system, the number of hospitalizations and the number of patients in intensive care units has increased slightly, although mortality has not increased.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of new hospitalizations of patients with confirmed COVID-19 increased slightly in New England and the New York region.
Experts say that as a new wave of the virus spreads across the country, states with low vaccination rates may face significantly more infections and severe cases requiring hospitalization.
Earlier, Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to restore the mandatory regime of wearing masks indoors amid a sharp increase in the number of infections.