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U.S. COVID Deaths Reach 800K, On Track to Hit One Million Before Spring

U.S. COVID Deaths Reach 800K, On Track to Hit One Million Before Spring

 

The United States reached the sad milestone of 800,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, according to a Reuters News tally. As the nation braces for a potential surge in infections due to more time spent indoors with colder weather and the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus, experts predict the country’s death toll from COVID-19 will reach and surpass one million by March or potentially sooner if more people don’t avail themselves of the available vaccines and boosters.

The death toll is the equivalent of the entire population of the state of North Dakota.

Even with vaccines widely and freely available, the country has lost more lives to the virus this year than in 2020 due to the more contagious Delta variant and people refusing to get inoculated against COVID-19. 450,000 people in the United States have died since January 2021 after contracting COVID, or 57% of all U.S. deaths from the illness since the pandemic started. To give closer context, we reported the number of cases had reached 700,000 on October 2nd.

Other countries have lost far fewer lives per capita in the past 11 months, according to the data. The death rate in the United States was more than three times higher than in neighboring Canada and 11 times more than Japan. It took 111 days for U.S. deaths to jump from 600,000 to 700,000, according to Reuters analysis. The next 100,000 deaths took just 73 days.

The deaths this year were mostly in unvaccinated patients, health experts say. Deaths have increased despite advances in caring for COVID patients and new treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies. New infections in the United States were averaging around 120,000 a day, with Michigan contributing the most cases a day. COVID-19 patients were filling Michigan hospitals at record levels, with three out of four of them unvaccinated.

Of the 10 states that reported the most deaths per capita in the last 11 months, eight were from the south – Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina, and West Virginia, according to the Reuters analysis.

Fears of the new variant have prompted Americans to line up for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines at a record pace. Just under a million people a day received booster doses of one of the three authorized vaccines last week, the highest rate since regulators gave the nod to additional shots.

The latest CDC data showed that roughly 60% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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