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Coronavirus cases are soaring, especially in the South

Data: NYTimes; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New coronavirus infections continue to rise across the U.S., perpetuating a preventable wave of suffering that’s already straining hospitals and killing an average of 1,000 Americans per day.

The big picture: The biggest increases are happening primarily in a cluster of states where vaccination rates are low and safety measures like masks are spotty.

By the numbers: The U.S. is now averaging over 150,000 new coronavirus cases per day — a 22% increase over the past two weeks.

  • Infections are rising in 46 states. Tennessee had the biggest spikes in the number of new cases, followed closely by a cluster of nearby Southeastern states as well as Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

What’s happening: In general, the states with the lowest vaccination rates are now seeing the biggest growth in new infections, and many of those same states are so overwhelmed with seriously ill COVID patients that they’re running out of ICU beds.

  • All of the available real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccines prevent serious illness extremely well. The overwhelming majority of people sick enough to be in the hospital are unvaccinated, as are almost all of the people who die from their infections.

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