Live updates from Covid-19: Newly reported US cases are on the rise while the UK variant holds

By David Hall

Newly reported cases of coronavirus in the US increased as a more contagious form of the virus spread across the country.

The US reported more than 74,000 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University released early Thursday. The data can be updated later. Not all states report data on new cases on a daily basis. Wednesday’s total was higher than Tuesday’s count of 61,958, and while lower than the peak levels reached in January, the figure remains high compared to daily caseloads for much of the past month.

The seven-day average, which smooths out irregularities in data reporting, was 64,792 Tuesday, while the 14-day average was 65,835, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

When the 7-day average is lower than the 14-day average, it indicates that the number of cases is decreasing. Monday was the first time that happened since March 23. Still, more than half of the states report higher seven-day averages than 14-day averages, indicating a rise in infections in some places.

The nation reported more than 2,500 fatalities on Wednesday, including a backlog of Oklahoma death data. According to data from Johns Hopkins, the total death toll in the US was 559,000.

Vaccination programs, meanwhile, continued to progress, with nearly a third of the population receiving at least one injection and an average of three million doses per day in the past week, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis from Centers for Disease Control. and prevention data. Vaccination levels vary by state. In New Mexico, 26.5% of residents are fully vaccinated, while in Georgia that is 14.1%, according to data from the CDC.

Meanwhile, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the UK variant of the coronavirus is now the dominant strain in the U.S. The UK variant is one of the more contagious mutations of the virus to emerge in recent months, sparking concern among scientists and public health officials . and government leaders. Variants from South Africa and Brazil have also been found in the US

Increased caseloads and hospital admissions in the US point to two clear truths, said Dr. Walensky. First, the virus still has it [a] hold us tight – infect and endanger people – and we must remain vigilant. And second, we must continue to accelerate our vaccination efforts and take individual responsibility for getting vaccinated when we can. “