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Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of new coronavirus infections in the U.S continues to rise, making a quick, clean end to the pandemic less and less likely.

The big picture: Much of the U.S. is relying almost exclusively on vaccines to control the virus, abandoning social distancing and other safety measures. And that’s helping the virus to steadily gain ground even as vaccinations barrel ahead.

By the numbers: The U.S. averaged roughly 71,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s about a 9% jump over the daily average from the week before.

  • The number of new cases rose over the past week in 25 states, and only declined in six.

Why it matters: Another surge in cases is likely to be a lot less deadly than previous waves, because so many vulnerable Americans have been vaccinated. But it will provide fertile conditions for the virus to continue mutating into new variants, keeping the coronavirus in our lives even longer.

The bottom line: The less you do to control the coronavirus, the harder it becomes to control the coronavirus in the future.

Each week, Axios tracks the change in new infections in each state. We use a seven-day average to minimize the effects of day-to-day discrepancies in states’ reporting.

Go deeper

Sep 29, 2021 - Health

CDC issues urgent advisory calling on pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The CDC issued "an urgent health advisory" on Wednesday urging people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The CDC said it "strongly recommends" vaccination because its benefits for a pregnant person and the fetus outweigh the risks. It added that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at "increased risk" of outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth and admission of a newborn into the ICU.

AT&T mandates COVID vaccination for most unionized workers

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

AT&T expanded its COVID-19 vaccine mandate Wednesday to employees who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union.

Why it matters: The communications giant is one of the biggest employers in the U.S. to require frontline workers to be vaccinated against the virus. The union said it represents some 90,000 AT&T workers, per AP.

Updated 12 mins ago - Economy & Business

Student debt getting in the way of millennial homeownership

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millennial homeownership is on the rise — but student loan debt is still keeping millions of members of America's largest generation from owning a home.

Why it matters: Buying a house remains the No. 1 way to build wealth in the U.S.