(WTVO) – There was a 300% increase in the average weekly number of COVID-19 cases this Labor Day weekend compared to last year, according to John Hopkins University.
The summer that was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March.
Compared to last year’s 287,235 weekly cases around this time, the number of confirmed cases from the Labor Day weekend has reached 1.146 million.
The U.S. is now averaging over 150,000 new cases per day, levels not seen since January. Deaths are close to 1,500 per day, up more than a third since late August.
The summer wave was fueled by the extra-contagious delta variant combined with stark resistance to vaccinations that formed along political and geographic lines, said Dr. Sten Vermund, of the Yale School of Public Health.
“The virus was more efficient in spreading among the unvaccinated so that you blunted the expected benefit of vaccines,” Vermund said.
The TSA reported that more than 3.5 million people traveled into the U.S. on Friday and Saturday, according to CBS News.
“We had been cooped up for over a year and everyone wanted to get out,” said Dr. David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “In the face of that kind of strong change in behavior, even getting almost two-thirds of our adult population vaccinated wasn’t enough.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.