TAMPA, Fla. - The COVID-19 pandemic is raging on across the country as the highly contagious delta variant infects unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people.
The average amount of new cases more than doubled nationwide in the past month. There were 11,500 new cases reported on June 20. This week, 38,000 new cases were reported, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"The really sad this is if we maintained the vaccination rates that we were seeing in April this all would've been done, we would've reached herd immunity by the third week in June and this would never have happened," said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, an infectious disease researcher at the University of South Florida who has been forecasting COVID-19 trends since the beginning of the pandemic. "The last three weeks have been the worst that I've seen since I started doing the calculations last summer."
In the last two weekly reports from the Florida Department of Health, the number of new infections increased from 23,000 to 45,000 to 73,000. That’s an average of more than 10,000 new cases per day.
"We're about halfway up of what's going to be a really steep wave in infections which is being driven primarily by infections in the unvaccinated people," said Dr. Unnasch.
He says fully vaccinated people who are being infected barely have symptoms, like sniffles for a couple of days for example.
Unvaccinated people are having severe infections and that’s why hospitals are filling back up, medical experts say.
Dr. Unnasch says the virus is eventually going to burn out because more people are being infected or being vaccinated. He anticipates the U.S. achieving herd immunity by September.