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People wearing facemasks line up at a COVID-19 testing site at Orlando International Airport. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The United States hit 100,000 new confirmed daily COVID-19 infections on Saturday, a milepost last hit during the pre-vaccine winter virus surge, AP reports.

The big picture: Health officials worry that the new average infection rate, which is largely driven by the highly contagious delta variant, could rise if more Americans do not take the vaccine.

  • 50% of eligible adults are fully vaccinated and more than 70% have received at least one dose, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: Average daily cases peaked at about 250,000 in early January, per AP.

  • Cases started to bottom out this summer, and by June the average daily case rate was about 11,000 per day. Six weeks later, that number has soared to about 107,143, per AP.
  • Hospitalizations and deaths are also rising, but rates remain lower than the peaks that the country experienced earlier this year before vaccines were widely available, per AP.
  • In the South, which has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients jumped 50% to a daily average of 17,600 over the last week from 11,600 the previous week, per AP.
  • Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky account for 41% of the nation’s new hospitalizations.

Go deeper: Coronavirus dashboard

Go deeper

Updated Nov 19, 2021 - Health

World gets tough on the unvaccinated

People wait at the registration desk for a vaccination appointment in Dresden, Germany. Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa via Getty Images

Public officials around the world are imposing new restrictions on the unvaccinated as many nations struggle to raise their COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Why it matters: Unvaccinated people are five times more likely than those vaccinated to get infected and 10 times more likely to die from the coronavirus, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many health care systems are buckling under new waves in cases among the unvaccinated.

Nov 12, 2021 - World

Netherlands to return to 3-week partial lockdown amid surging COVID cases

Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands speaks as National Statements are delivered on day two of the COP 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced Friday a three-week partial lockdown as a result of surging COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands.

Why it matters: The lockdown comes as Western Europe experiences a new wave of COVID-19 infections across the continent.

Nov 13, 2021 - Health

Federal appeals court affirms hold on Biden vaccine rule for large companies

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Biden administration rule requiring large companies to mandate COVID vaccines for employees or impose weekly testing is "staggeringly overbroad" and "grossly exceeds [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's] statutory authority," a federal appeals court said Friday in an order to keep the rule on hold.

Why it matters: Under the rule, companies with 100 or more workers must mandate vaccination or regular testing by Jan. 4.