Midwest COVID-19 Cases Increase, Fueling Winter Surge Fears

Midwest COVID-19 Cases Increase, Fueling Winter Surge Fears Midwest COVID-19 Cases Increase, Fueling Winter Surge Fears

By Luca Cacciatore | Saturday, 20 November 2021 07:05 PM

Daily COVID-19 case reports have increased 20% across the upper Midwest, as the winter season brings fears of a coming wave of infections, according to The Guardian.

The seven-day moving average for COVID-19 cases in the entire U.S. was 93,196 on Friday. On Oct. 25, it was 70,271. That number is expected to reach over 100,000 soon if trends continue.

Michigan and Minnesota lead the country in those new cases "by a significant margin in recent cases per capita," according to The New York Times analysis.

The country is still averaging far fewer cases a day than it did during the worst of the summer Delta variant surge, The Guardian reported.

At a 60% vaccination rate, the U.S. is administering about 1.5 million new doses of vaccines a day. The vaccination rates are gently rising but still below the 80% threshold that most epidemiologists would like to see.

Several states with high rates of early vaccination take-up, including New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Vermont, are reporting elevated COVID case levels, suggesting that the efficacy of vaccines may be diminishing in terms of infection.

The FDA approved booster shots of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to all adults on Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agreed to the new policy.

"We heard loud and clear that people needed something simpler, and this, I think, is simple," FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks told The Associated Press.

The rise in U.S. cases comes as several European countries are reporting a brutal resurgence of the COVID-19. Austria is reimposing a nationwide lockdown next week, and Germany appears to be heading in a similar direction, The Guardian reported.

The number of U.S. COVID-19 deaths recorded in 2021 has now surpassed the toll in 2020, federal data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.