COVID-19 is still infecting and killing people

Variants of COVID-19 has new infections on the rise in America and around the world
A Covid-10 death in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Look back. COVID-19 is gaining on us. The Centers for Disease Control reports the latest 14 day change in new cases shows a 35% increase but a 40% decline in deaths.

As of July 8, still less than half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. About 55% had at least one shot, but 42% only are considered completely vaccinated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports more than four million have died around the glove from the virus, and the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University says the death toll is most likely underestimated.

“The numbers may not tell the complete story, and yet they’re still really staggering numbers globally,” Jennifer B. Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, tells The New York Times.

It took nine months to kill one million, three and a half months to reach two million and three months to reach three. Vaccinations have reduced the death rate, but the numbers of infections are rising again because of disease mutations that are more resistant.

Adds the Times:

“Compounded by fast-moving variants and shocking inequity in vaccination, far too many countries in every region of the world are seeing sharp spikes in cases and hospitalizations,” Dr. Tedros said at a news conference.

The official death toll numbers tell only part of the horrifying pandemic story. In many places, people have died without family to comfort them because of rules to prevent the spread of the virus. And many countries were completely overrun.

The dead overwhelmed cremation grounds in India in May, where at least 400,000 confirmed deaths have been reported and the actual number is likely higher. That was also the case in funeral homes in the United States, which surpassed 600,000 known deaths last month.

–The New York Times

A highly-contageous varient of COVID-19, called “Delta,” has led California to reinstitute use of masks in the State Capitol and others parts of the state.

The Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis is requiring all employees to obtain vaccinations to keep their jobs. In Nevada, a drop in the rate of vaccinations is cited for a sudden rise in COVID cases and hospitalizations. CDC expresses concern over a slowdown in vaccinations in several states. Missouri and Arkansas top Nevada in new cases, and both have lower rates of residents getting even one shot.

Dr. Fermin Leguen, district health officer for the Nevada district that includes Clark County and Las Vegas, says 95% of those hospitalized in the past three months have not been vaccinated.

CDC says 73% of new cases in Missouri come from the Delta variant, and about 40% in Nevada. The Centers say Delta is the dominant variant across the nation, and only those with two-short vaccinations are “significantly protected.”

Brian Labus, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, says relaxations of restrictions has increased the rise in infections.

“It’s not necessarily reopening the strip to tourists — it’s that our entire community is open 100 percent,” Dr. Labus tells the New York Times. “It’s not just the resort hotels. It’s every restaurant, store and business in southern Nevada.”

In Virginia, 291 new cases of COVID-19 were listed in the Health Department’s daily report on Thursday, with seven deaths and 50 additional hospitalizations. Radford reported five new cases. Floyd County had two new cases on Wednesday. Roanoke Valley’s report showed 16 new cases. One of Virginia’s new deaths came from Radford.