US Surpasses 40 Million COVID-19 Cases

Carolyn Crist

September 07, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The U.S. has recorded more than 40 million known COVID-19 cases and nearly 650,000 COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic. 

The tally adds up to more than the population of California, the country's most populous state, with 39 million residents, according to The New York Times.

The U.S. leads the world in COVID-19 cases and makes up nearly a fifth of the 221 million global total, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country is followed by India, with 33 million, and Brazil, with nearly 21 million.

The U.S. has logged more than 4 million cases and 32,000 deaths during the past month alone. During the past week, new cases averaged more than 160,000 per day, the Times reported. Hospitalizations are hovering above 100,000 nationwide, and deaths are averaging more than 1,500 per day for the first time since March.

South Carolina has the country's highest rate of new cases and is averaging more than 5,400 new cases per day, the newspaper reported. Hospitalizations in the state are near peak levels from last winter.

Other states in the South, such as Alabama and Mississippi, also have some of the highest rates of new cases per capita. At the same time, case numbers have begun to decline in some parts of the South, including Florida, which is now reporting 11,000 daily cases.

But outbreaks are popping up elsewhere, with growing numbers in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, the newspaper reported. On Monday, Maine, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, and West Virginia had the highest rates of growth in the country, though overall numbers remain low in Maine and the Dakotas, with fewer than 400 cases reported each day.

In the Pacific Northwest, new cases appear to be leveling off, the Times reported. Although Oregon and Washington set records in recent weeks, case rates are now declining and remain far below those seen in the South.

About 950,000 vaccine doses are being given each day, which has increased from a low point of 500,000 doses per day in late July, the newspaper reported. Nearly 75% of people ages 18 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, according to CDC numbers updated Saturday. About 64% of adults are fully vaccinated.

On Monday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said the Delta variant had overwhelmed many hospitals in the state and noted that some schools had closed again.

"We've got a really big-time, big-time situation in West Virginia, as it is all across the nation," he said during a news conference.

After reading a list of people who died in the state from coronavirus-related causes since Friday, Justice urged people to get vaccinated.

"We've got to get vaccinated for all — not just for you, but for everybody. We've got to do this," he said. "We can stop a lot of this terrible, terrible, terrible carnage."

Sources:

The New York Times: "The U.S. surpasses 40 million known coronavirus cases."

Johns Hopkins University: "COVID-19 Dashboard."

CDC: "COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States."

West Virginia Office of the Governor: "COVID-19 Briefing Information."

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