The number of new coronavirus infections in the U.S continues to rise, making a quick, clean end to the pandemic less and less likely.
The big picture: Much of the U.S. is relying almost exclusively on vaccines to control the virus, abandoning social distancing and other safety measures. And that’s helping the virus to steadily gain ground even as vaccinations barrel ahead.
By the numbers: The U.S. averaged roughly 71,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s about a 9% jump over the daily average from the week before.
- The number of new cases rose over the past week in 25 states, and only declined in six.
Why it matters: Another surge in cases is likely to be a lot less deadly than previous waves, because so many vulnerable Americans have been vaccinated. But it will provide fertile conditions for the virus to continue mutating into new variants, keeping the coronavirus in our lives even longer.
The bottom line: The less you do to control the coronavirus, the harder it becomes to control the coronavirus in the future.
Each week, Axios tracks the change in new infections in each state. We use a seven-day average to minimize the effects of day-to-day discrepancies in states’ reporting.