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A nasal swab COVID-19 test. Photo: Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

The White House announced Thursday that it will invest $1.6 billion to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation efforts in vulnerable communities.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases are up 55% across the U.S., with some “breakthrough” infections occurring among vaccinated people. However, the rising tide of cases, driven largely by the Delta variant, and hospitalizations are mainly a threat to those who aren’t vaccinated.

Details: The money, part of the American Rescue Plan, will be directed toward COVID testing in high-risk settings like prisons and homeless and domestic violence shelters, a Health and Human Services official told Axios.

  • Testing rates in the U.S. have been decreasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even as overall hospitalizations increase.

The big picture: Vaccination rates have stalled and experts fear public resistance to a return to mask mandates.

  • Last week, the Biden administration announced nearly $400 million in funding for small rural hospitals for testing and isolating infection rates.

Go deeper

Jul 22, 2021 - Health

COVID cases are up 55% across the U.S.

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Note: Rhode Island and Iowa data is from CDC and from July 12-July 19; Map: Axios Visuals

Coronavirus infections are rising dramatically all over the U.S. as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads.

The big picture: Some “breakthrough” infections are happening to vaccinated people, but this rising tide of cases and hospitalizations is mainly a threat to those who aren’t vaccinated. And in some parts of the country, most people aren’t vaccinated — so the virus can still do serious damage.

YouTube pulls Bolsonaro videos over COVID misinformation

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro during a June event in Brasilia, Brazil. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

YouTube removed videos from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's channel Wednesday for spreading pandemic misinformation, the tech giant said.

Driving the news: YouTube said a "careful review" found rule breaches concerning incorrect comments about face masks and hydroxychloroquine, which is proven to not work as a COVID-19 treatment, per a statement to news outlets.

Jul 21, 2021 - Health

New Orleans issues indoor mask advisory amid surging COVID-19 cases

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell in January. Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

New Orleans officials issued a public health advisory on Wednesday "strongly recommending" that people wear face masks indoors, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases, driven by the Delta variant, are once again surging across the country. Earlier this week CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cited Louisiana among a handful of states with low vaccination rates that are driving a plurality of new cases.