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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 24, 2021 - Health

Judge denies Massachusetts State Police attempt to delay state vaccine mandate

Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A Superior Court judge on Thursday denied the request of the union representing 1,800 Massachusetts State Police troopers to delay the governor's state employee vaccine mandate, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: State workers who aren't vaccinated in Massachusetts by Oct. 17 will face disciplinary action, including possible termination.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.

23 hours ago - Health

Federal judge upholds Cincinnati health care system's COVID vaccine mandate

Photo: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Friday that a health care provider serving the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region can issue mandates requiring its more than 10,000 employees to get vaccinated or risk termination.

Why it matters: It's the latest ruling to uphold U.S. private employers' right to issue vaccine mandates, and comes after President Biden signed an executive order requiring vaccinations or once-a-week testing for companies with more than 100 employees.