The average weekly number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. was nearly 300% higher this Labor Day weekend compared to the same time last year, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. The average number of deaths was more than 86% higher compared to the same period in 2020.
There were 1.146 million weekly cases this past weekend compared to 287,235 last year.
Health officials had repeatedly urged unvaccinated individuals to stay at home ahead of Labor Day, as the Delta variant continues to surge across the country. On Monday, there were 73,331 new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins, and the average weekly cases have only been increasing since the end of June.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on August 31 that the CDC recommends people who are unvaccinated refrain from traveling on Labor Day weekend given the surge in cases.
“We have actually articulated that people who are fully vaccinated and who are wearing masks can travel,” she said. “Although given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take their own – these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling.”
CBS News’ Errol Barnett reported Monday that more than 3.5 million people traveled in the U.S. on Friday and Saturday, according to the TSA.
Hospitals in several states have beenas the number of hospitalizations spiked to the highest numbers since January. Over the last month, the number of daily deaths has also increased by more than 130%.
All of the United States remains at a “high” level of community transmission, according to the CDC.
While the Delta variant continues to be the dominant strain in the U.S.. officials are also “keeping an eye on” the, which was first detected in other countries in January, according to the World Health Organization.
White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told “” on Sunday that officials “want to make sure it doesn’t become more dominant.”
“We actually don’t know what the consequences would be. The concern is that it has a few — a constellation of mutations that would indicate that it might evade the protection from certain antibodies,” Fauci said. “…But right now, it is not an immediate threat, even though we take all of these variants very seriously.”