The United States has exceeded 35 million recorded cases of COVID-19, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, since the delta variant causes a further increase in cases.
The country now averages about 70,000 cases a day and registered more than 100,000 on Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, the availability of vaccines means that the dynamics are very different from previous waves. Unvaccinated people are by far the highest risk. Vaccinated people can get sick occasionally, but cases are usually mild.
The death rate is well below where it was during previous waves, although it has recently risen, to about 300 deaths per day. In January, more than 3,500 people died every day.
The worst outbreaks occur in areas with low vaccination rates. As the highly transmissible delta variant fuels the further increase, the vaccination rate, which had dropped considerably, is beginning to rebound.
The country is averaging about 660,000 vaccines a day, up from 500,000 on July 20, according to Our World in Data. Still, that’s well below the peak of more than 3 million in April.
While the surge in cases has sparked new discussions about wearing masks, experts still say it’s clear that the most important response is to vaccinate more people.
The states with the highest number of new cases per capita are Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi, according to tracking site Covid Act Now. All four have relatively low vaccination rates.