US COVID-19 deaths in 2021 surpass 2020 toll
COVID-19 deaths in 2021 surpassed the 2020 total this week, with data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing the number of cases nationwide before the Thanksgiving holiday.
There have been 771,576 killed due to the virus since the start of the pandemic, although that number is currently trending downward. As of January 1, this year, 386,233 people have died as a result of the virus, compared to 385,343 last year.
In 2020, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the US, according to a April CDC Report on preliminary US death rates, and figures take into account reported deaths only.
The global death toll from the pandemic above 5 million on Monday.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Monday that the seven-day average of reported coronavirus infections is up 18%.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate of 3.07% is the highest since early September, and average daily cases are the highest since mid-September.
According to state data, unvaccinated residents are four times more likely to test positive than those who have been vaccinated and make up the vast majority of those hospitalized with severe symptoms.
According to the state, 74% of all residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine last week.
Doctors have said the spike is a sign residents should be more careful and keep following best practices like masking.
“Right now we need to embrace normality, but we need to be smart about it,” says Dr. Ulysses Wu, an infectious disease specialist at Hartford HealthCare, told the Hartford Newspaper. “Who do you hang out with, how many people are coming and what is their vaccination status?”
Four of the five states with the highest recent increase in virus cases are in New England, the paper said.
Walensky and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Faucic have urged the roughly 60 million unvaccinated Americans to get the shot, and last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC recommended booster shots for all adults ages 18 and older who received a Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose.
More than 36 million people have already received a dose of vaccine that goes beyond their original vaccination.
While all three vaccines used in the US continue to provide strong protection against severe COVID-19 illness and death, the effectiveness of the injections against milder infection may decrease over time.
“Driving into the winter months, when respiratory viruses are spreading faster, and with more travel and gatherings planned during the holiday season, it was now important to improve the overall protection of people from the illness and death of COVID-19,” said Walensky.
“The most tragic are the deaths that can be prevented from this disease by vaccines,” she said. “Even in our updated data, unvaccinated people are 14 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who have been vaccinated.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Read more of this story on Fox news.