The Covid-19 wave that started in low-vaccination states in the Ozarks and Deep South has now engulfed the U.S., with cases and hospitalizations at their highest since February.

Thirty-eight states have transmission levels considered high by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning theyre posting at least 100 cases per 100,000 residents or have positivity rates of at least 10%. The other 12 states and the nations capital have transmission rates that are considered substantial, the second-worst category.

Delta Goes Nationwide

The wave that started in low vaccination states is now everywhere

Source: CDC data

Note: CDC defines “high” transmission as having at least 100 new cases per 100,000 population in past week or positivity rate of at least 10% in period; “substantial” is 50-99.99 per 100k or 8-9.99% positivity. Zero states were currently below that threshold.

The latest U.S. wave began in low-vaccination states. Intensive-care units are now swamped with virus patients in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

But the faster-spreading variant is finding its way even into states that outperformed in the vaccination campaign and have enforced strong mitigation measures. Twenty-three states and the nations capital have seen their seven-day average cases increase at least 50% in the past week, including such highly vaccinated states as Vermont, Washington state and Hawaii, according to

CDC data.

Vaccines are still helping cut transmission and improve medical outcomes, though they havent been a silver bullet. In Washington state, for instance, lower vaccinated counties had high rates of transmission, the data show, but even the Seattle metropolitan area is getting hit.

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