Delta variant said to be far more widespread than federal estimates

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released late Tuesday shows the Delta strain accounted for more than 51 percent of new Covid-19 cases from June 20 to July 3. But the reality on the ground is likely much higher because states and private labs are taking weeks to report testing results to the CDC, the officials said.

“It is everywhere now,” one of the officials said, adding that recent data shows the Pfizer Covid vaccine works well against the Delta variant. “The risk really is in the unvaccinated community. We’re starting to see more and more people get sick and need medical attention.”

Covid-19 hospitalizations are up more than 40 percent over the last two weeks in Arkansas, Iowa and Nevada. And emerging evidence from a repository of genetic sequences compiled by Scripps Research's Outbreak.info suggests that the Delta strain accounted for as much as two-thirds of new Covid cases nationwide over the past two weeks. The site notes the data "may not represent the true prevalence of the mutations in the population."