“All the news is about Omicron,” lamented Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Science Institute, on Twitter. “As if a major 2nd surge with Delta wasn’t happening.”
Nationally, evidence of that second surge is clear. Infection rates are rising, with more than 80,000 new cases per day, according to data from the CDC. More than 50,000 people are in hospitals with COVID-19 each day, and about 1,000 people are dying daily from the disease.
Those statistics are especially concerning to public health officials, since vaccination makes most infections either mild or asymptomatic. They suggest that Delta continues to find pockets of unvaccinated people, even in states like Vermont, where vaccination rates are high.
Two New Mexico hospitals were operating at 120 percent capacity this week thanks to the Delta variant, while Michigan announced it had more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients in its hospitals. Minnesota, Wisconsin and other states in the Upper Midwest are seeing similar spikes.