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Plummeting daily COVID infection numbers plateau, with Delta variant, vaccinations factors

The infection numbers began plateauing in early June.

Updated: June 14, 2021 - 10:10am

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The sharp drop in new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. that started in mid-January has plateaued in recent days and weeks, raising concerns about the arrival of the new Delta variant and roughly one-third of the country's population still unvaccinated.

The number of new cases started dropping sharply in mid-January, when the daily number was rough 209,000, to 8,862 on June 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC's most recent number, for June 12, is 12,836.

The highly contagious and severe Delta variant is spreading rapidly throughout the United States causing the reported number of cases to rise, according to scientists.

Dr. Robert Wachter of the University of California, San Francisco tweeted Sunday, "As you can see, Delta has made me nervous: I’ll now bet we’ll see significant (incl. Many hospitalizations/deaths) surges this fall in low-vaccine populations due to combo of seasonality, Delta’s nastiness, & “back to normal” behavior.” 

Still data shows that the vaccines appear to be working well against the variants, including Delta, in reducing cases and protecting against death.

About one-third of the U.S. population has yet to get vaccinated, which Wachter and others warn makes those in that group extremely vulnerable to the virus and the delta variant.