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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Wearing face masks, people walk through Union Station in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

As vaccination rates dwindle and the Delta variant becomes a growing public health concern, COVID cases appear to be surging across the U.S.

The big picture: "Twenty-four states have seen an uptick of at least 10% in Covid-19 cases over the past week," CNN writes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says between June 20 and July 3, the Delta variant accounted for more than 51% of all news cases.

Driving the news: Missouri and Arkansas are the states with the highest weekly case rates per capita. In the last seven days, Missouri had 142.1 cases per 100,000 residents and Arkansas had 139.8, according to CDC data.

  • Kansas reported the most number of new cases in over three months, AP reports.
  • The city of Independence issued a public health advisory Friday, saying cases and hospitalizations were growing throughout the Kansas City metro and the state of Missouri due to the Delta variant.
  • In California, Los Angeles County officials said they saw a 165% increase in new cases week over week.
  • Arizona reported its biggest daily increase in two months with more than 900 new cases on Friday.
  • Mississippi health officials acknowledged a "modest" increase in hospitalizations, mostly driven by the Delta variant, AP notes.

What they're saying: "We should think about the Delta variant as the 2020 version of Covid-19 on steroids," former White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt told CNN on Wednesday.

  • "It's twice as infectious. Fortunately, unlike 2020, we actually have a tool that stops the Delta variant in its tracks: It's called vaccine," he added.
  • Slavitt noted the variant presented a "very little threat" to fully vaccinated individuals.

Zoom out: Virus cases have ticked up around the world. The United Kingdom saw its highest case count since January as the disease spreads among younger age groups. On Friday, the government reported more than 35,700 new cases, the highest number since January.

  • The Netherlands reimposed coronavirus restrictions on Friday amid a surge of new cases, which the government said were driven by the Delta variant.
  • In Bangkok, health authorities reported more than 9,200 new cases and 72 new deaths. "More than 90% of the cases and deaths have occurred since early April," AP writes.

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Delta asks other carriers to share "no-fly" lists of unruly passengers

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Delta Air Lines wants competitors to release their no-fly lists of banned passengers who have exhibited unruly behavior, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Flight attendants and pilot labor unions have voiced their concerns about handling hostile passengers at unprecedented rates since the start of the pandemic.

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.

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