On September 7, 2021, there were 301,138 new recorded cases of COVID-19 in the United States. There were 2,226 COVID-19-related deaths. Of the total U.S. population, 63.2% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
This information comes from the New York Times interactive COVID-19 data tracker.
Children and COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tracked a sharp uptick in the hospitalization rates of children and adolescents since the onset of the delta variant. According to U.S. News and World Report, the rate of transmission for these age groups increased nearly five-fold, according to the data from 14 states. From CDC Director Rochelle Walensky:
Although we are seeing more cases in children and more overall cases, these studies demonstrated that there was not increased disease severity in children. Instead, more children have COVID-19 because there is more disease in the community.
A secondary study found that during a two-week period in August, COVID-related emergency department visits and hospital admittance for children were highest in states with the lowest vaccination coverage. Read the full study at the CDC.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) regarding vaccination and COVID-19 testing. According to the press release on the guidance, the American Rescue Plan directs CMS to cover all testing and vaccination costs for Medicaid and CHIP, and temporarily makes 100% federal matching funds available for COVID-19 vaccine administration related to enrollees in those programs. Additionally, the state expenditures received through Urban Indian Organizations and certain Native Hawaiian health care entities will also receive a temporary match at 100% of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). From CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure:
Today’s guidance reinforces our commitment to providing low-income adults and children with access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination, and I urge all eligible enrollees to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.
Vaccination and Breakthrough Cases
According to an article in the New York Times, the chances of the average American contracting COVID-19 is about one in 5,000 per day and lower for individuals who employ social mitigation strategies like masks and physical distancing, or those who live in highly vaccinated communities. In those places, like Chicago, Los Angeles and New England, the rate can go up to one in 10,000.
Here’s one way to think about a one-in-10,000 daily chance: It would take more than three months for the combined risk to reach just 1 percent.
In many lower-vaccinated places, the U.S. healthcare system is struggling to stay afloat. According to NPR, the current surge related to spread of the delta variant has more than 100,000 hospital beds filled nationwide. More than 10 states have reached their highest hospital admissions for COVID-19 of the pandemic. From Dr. Bruce Siegel, president of America’s Essential Hospitals, which represents public and safety net hospitals:
We are right on the edge of entering crisis standards of care. I hope we don’t get to that point, but it could very easily happen.
Police and police unions are pushing back against municipal policies requiring city officials to get vaccinated. According to Associated Press, first responders are dying of COVID-19 in large numbers and last year the virus was the leading cause of law enforcement line-of-duty deaths.
The Portland Police Department was able to secure exemption for officers in Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced in a press conference today, OPB reports.