After more than a year of pandemic-related lockdowns, social distancing and masking, life is feeling much more normal as Americans get ready to celebrate Independence Day. But Covid-19 still looms large.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the “hypertransmissible” delta variant could have caused the recent 10 percent increase in new Covid-19 cases in the country. The news comes as states have largely abandoned mask mandates and reopened their economies, and as several states trail on vaccinations. The CDC said the country’s lagging vaccination rate, which is likely to miss President Joe Biden’s July 4 goal of getting at least one shot into the arms of 70 percent of adults, has contributed to the uptick in cases.
Slowing vaccinations, increased cases and a fast-spreading variant are among the factors at play as the country heads into a holiday weekend.
Here’s a quick look at the current state of the pandemic in the United States.