Emergency medical technician Lenny Fernandez, medical assistant Rodnay Moore and physician assistant-certified Calvin Davis, from left to right, prepare doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine as staff at the City of Vernon Health Department establishes the city’s new mobile health department used to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to nearly 250 essential food processors at Rose & Shore, Inc. March 17, 2021 in Vernon, CA.
Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Covid-19 cases are on the rise and the number of hospital admissions has soared in the US, even as the country set a new record for doses of coronavirus vaccines delivered in one day on Saturdays.
The US saw a seven-day average of 61,359 new Covid-19 cases per day on Friday, up 12% from the past week, according to a The Washington City Times analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
Daily hospital admissions for the coronavirus fell steadily from January to February, but now the number of hospital admissions is leveling off. According to data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 4,790 Covid-19 hospitalizations were made in the country on Thursday, 2.6% compared to a week earlier.
“I remain deeply concerned about this trajectory,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a White House press conference on Friday. “We’ve seen cases and hospital admissions evolve from historical declines to stagnations and increases. We know from past peaks that if we don’t control things now, there is a real potential that the epidemic curve will rise again.”
Europe is fighting a third wave of Covid infections as countries like France, Poland and Ukraine are reintroducing lockdowns to stop the spread of viruses.
The rising cases and stagnant hospitalizations come as more and more Americans are vaccinated. According to figures from the CDC, more than 3.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered on Saturday. Saturday’s total broke the previous record for most Covid-19 vaccine shots given in one day on Friday with 3.37 million doses reported.
The rate of vaccination is rapidly increasing with a seven-day average on Saturday of more than 2.6 million injections per day. More than 140 million doses of Covid vaccines have been administered in the US since Saturday, according to the CDC.
President Joe Biden on Thursday set a new goal to deliver 200 million vaccination shots with the coronavirus in his first 100 days in office.
The push for increased vaccinations comes as highly contagious and potentially more deadly variants of the virus continue to spread in U.S. White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said on March 19 that the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK is likely to be 30% of Covid infections in the US.
New strains are of particular concern to public health officials as they may become more resistant to antibody and vaccine treatments. 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 do become infected.
Covid-related deaths in the US are on the decline. According to a The Washington City Times analysis of data from Johns Hopkins, the US experienced a seven-day average of 992 new daily coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, down 14% from a week ago.