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Good News, Bad News on COVID From Pandemic Holiday Weekend

July 6, 2021 – Although President Joe Biden missed his goal of partially vaccinating 70% of American adults against COVID-19 by July 4, the mark has been reached in 19 states and territories, as well as in the District of Columbia.

The most recent data from the CDC shows that 67.1% of people over 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 58.2% fully vaccinated. Biden announced the 70% target in early May.

The New York Times, citing information from the CDC, said the states and territories with more than 70% of partially vaccinated adults are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota , New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Brunswick York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Washington, DC.

Vermont is leading the way, with 85.3% of the population having a dose.

The state with the worst vaccination rates is Mississippi, at 46.3%, followed by Louisiana, the US Virgin Islands, Wyoming and Alabama.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases have increased in nearly half of the states, USA today reported, citing data from Johns Hopkins University. Health experts believe the increase in cases and hospitalizations is caused by the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Cases more than doubled in Alaska and Arkansas last week, and cases have increased by more than 50% in South Carolina and Kansas, USA today reported.

More worryingly, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has risen sharply in places with low vaccination rates.

One of those locations is Springfield, MO, where the number of COVID-19 hospital patients increased by 27% over the weekend of July 4, the Associated Press reported.

The city’s two hospitals, CoxHealth and Mercy Springfield, were treating 213 COVID-19 patients on Monday, up from 168 on Friday, the AP said. The two hospitals had only 31 COVID-19 patients on May 24.

“After what we saw last month, everyone is holding their breath, especially after a holiday weekend like this knowing there were large gatherings,” said Erik Frederick, executive director of Mercy Springfield.

The influx of patients was so extreme that Mercy Springfield ran out of ventilators at one point over the weekend and had to borrow them from other hospitals, Frederick said.

The state has had the most new cases per capita in the past 14 days, USA today mentionned. Only 55.7% of the state’s population had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Mississippi, new cases of COVID-19 increased nearly 15% in June, with about 95% of those hospitalizations being unvaccinated, USA today mentionned.

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