Covid cases are on the rise, hospitalizations have stalled even as vaccines increase

Emergency Medical Technician Lenny Fernandez, Physician Assistant Rodnay Moore, and Certified Medical Assistant Calvin Davis, left to right, prepare doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine while City of Vernon Health Department staff used the new clinic of the city’s mobile health unit to administer COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 250 essential food processing workers at Rose & Shore, Inc. on March 17, 2021 in Vernon, CA.

Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | fake images

Covid-19 cases are on the rise and hospitalizations have stalled in the US, even as the country set a new record for coronavirus vaccine doses administered in one day on Saturday.

The United States on Friday recorded a seven-day average of 61,359 new Covid-19 cases per day, a 12% increase from last week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Daily hospital admissions for coronavirus declined steadily from January to February, but now hospitalizations are stabilizing. The country recorded a seven-day average of 4,790 hospital admissions for Covid-19 on Thursday, 2.6% compared to the previous week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I remain deeply concerned about this trajectory,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a news conference at the White House on Friday. “We have seen cases and hospital admissions go from historic declines to stagnations and increases. We know from previous waves that if we don’t get things under control now, there is real potential for the epidemic curve to skyrocket again.”

Europe is battling a third wave of Covid infections as countries like France, Poland and Ukraine reintroduce lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus.

The increase in cases and the stagnation of hospitalizations come as more and more Americans get vaccinated. More than 3.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered on Saturday, according to counts recorded by the CDC. Saturday’s total broke the previous record for most Covid-19 vaccine injections administered on a day set on Friday with 3.37 million reported doses.

The vaccination rate is increasing rapidly with a seven-day average on Saturday of more than 2.6 million injections administered daily. More than 140 million doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered in the US as of Saturday, according to the CDC.

President Joe Biden on Thursday set a new goal of administering 200 million coronavirus vaccines in his first 100 days in office.

The push to increase vaccines comes as the highly infectious and potentially deadliest variants of the virus continue to spread in the U.S. White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said on March 19 that the variant of the coronavirus first identified in the UK probably accounts for 30% of cases. Covid infections in the US

The new strains are of particular concern to public health officials, as they could become more resistant to antibody treatments and vaccines. Still, the World Health Organization said in February that Covid-19 vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing serious illness and death in those who become infected.

Covid-related deaths in the US have been declining. The United States experienced a seven-day average of 992 new daily coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, a 14% decrease compared to a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data.


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