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CDC claims Delta variant is responsible for 83% of reported COVID-19 cases in the US

Kendall Tietz, DCNF

In the U.S., 83% of analyzed COVID-19 cases are attributed to the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) director said Tuesday while testifying in the Senate.

The CDC identified the percentage of cases matching the delta variant by sequencing coronavirus strains from positive tests submitted to the agency, Rochelle Walensky told the Senate in Tuesday’s briefing.

While Washington D.C. and all 50 states have experienced an uptick in COVID-19 infections, the increases are happening mostly in areas that have a lower vaccination rate, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“This is a dramatic increase,” Walensky said, which is a contrast to the week of July 3, where the Delta variant was found in only 50% of sequenced samples. “In some parts of the country, the percentage is even higher, particularly in areas of low vaccination rates.”

The rise in prominence of the highly transmissible Delta variant has increased COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. as economies have reopened and vaccination rates have plateaued.

As of Tuesday, over 68% of adults were vaccinated with at least one dose, while about 59% were fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. Almost two-thirds of U.S. counties have under 40% vaccination coverage, Walensky said.

“The best way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants is to prevent the spread of disease, and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have,” Walensky said at the testimony.

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