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Covid cases in US reach six month high, Florida records surge in cases

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Aug 5 (Reuters) – The daily covid cases have reached a new high in six months in the United States, with more than 100,000 cases being reported across the country as the Delta variant hots Florida and states with low vaccination rates.

The seven-day average of newly reported cases reached nearly 95,000, a five-fold increase in less than a month, Reuters data
through Wednesday showed.

Seven U.S. states with among the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates – Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas,
Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi – account for half of the country’s new cases and hospitalizations in the last week, White
House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters on Thursday.

“We’re seeing terrifying #COVID19 trends in our hospitals,” County Judge Lina Hidalgo wrote on Twitter. She is the top
official of Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and home to the city of Houston. “At this point, if you’re
unvaccinated by choice, you’re complicit in this crisis.”

The U.S. government will supply booster shots to Americans with compromised immune systems, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S.
infectious disease expert said Thursday. A day earlier he warned that cases could double to 200,000 per day due to the
variant in the coming weeks.

The United States is joining Germany, France, and Israel in giving booster shots despite a plea by the World Health
Organization to hold off until more people around the world can get their first shot.

Rise in cases in Florida

Florida, which has emerged as a hotbed of new infections, set yet another grim hospitalization record on Thursday with
12,373 beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
More children are hospitalized with the virus in Florida than in any other U.S. state.

Louisiana and Arkansas are also grappling with a record or near-record numbers of coronavirus patients occupying beds,
according to a Reuters tally.

Elsewhere, Virginia on Thursday became the third state after California and New York to mandate vaccines or weekly testing
for all state employees. Vaccinations are required only for some government employees in New Jersey.

Cases were still rising in Los Angeles County, health director Barbara Ferrer told reporters but appeared to be
leveling off after a dramatic surge last week.

The rising number of infections prompted more private-sector companies to require vaccines for employees and customers and
some have delayed plans for workers to return to the office.

Amazon.com, which had originally set Sept. 7 as the return to office date, on Thursday said it would not expect the U.S.
corporate employees to come back until next year.

 

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