The USA is acting as if we were through with COVID; as if were a thing of the past. Unfortunately COVID, like the past itself, is not through with us. The newest sub-variant of Omicron (BA.5) is the most contagious variant yet. An area of special concern is that the contagion does not appear to be significantly deterred by either inoculation or previous infection.
After a plateau of substantial length in which the number of cases hovered right around 100,000 per day, the number has again started to climb steadily in the States, and is now at 133,000. That represents 400 per million population, which is nearly triple the red line. 49 of the 50 states are in the red zone, excepting only Vermont.
The nation’s current positivity rate is 17%, nearly double the red line. Five states are in the 30s, topped by Missouri (35%) and Mississippi (33%). Seventeen more are in the 20s, and twenty-four more are in the 10-19 range. That leaves only four states in the green zone (Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire).
Other national trends:
In the past fourteen days:
- COVID fatalities are up 10%
- COVID hospitalizations are up 18%
- The number of COVID patients in ICU is up 22%
The number of cases is rising even more rapidly overseas. As of mid-June, the global number of daily COVID cases had fallen to about 550,000 per day (7-day average). In just a month, it has climbed back up in the 900,000 range.
Only one country, New Zealand, is in the quadruple danger zone (cases rising, cases already in the red zone, fatalities rising, fatalities already in the red zone), but several countries in Asia and Europe appear on the first three of those lists, and some of them are nearing crisis conditions:
- Cases in Japan and South Korea are doubling weekly.
- Australia, Italy, and Singapore have new infection rates at 10 times the red line, and are still increasing.
- In the cases of Australia and Italy, fatality rates are already near the red zone, and are increasing rapidly.