By Mattysen Short, Correspondent
Note from the Chief Copy Editor: All statistics presented in this article were current as of 11:59pm on Aug. 19, 2021.
As another school year commences, the COVID-19 pandemic continues tearing through communities across the world, taking the lives of loved-ones and strangers alike. The coronavirus pandemic, which was first declared as such in Mar. 2020, has taken millions of lives since it was originally discovered in Dec. 2019.
Across the globe, there have been almost 210 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, and of those 210 million, almost 4.5 million people have lost their lives to the virus.
There are 220 countries and territories worldwide reporting COVID-19 infections. Of those, America has struggled the most with the pandemic, contributing over 600 thousand deaths to the total of 4.5 million. Following close behind is Brazil with over 571 thousand deaths.
India’s healthcare system nearly faced collapse this summer due to the spread of COVID-19’s Delta variant, and has reported over 430 thousand deaths.
The United States currently has very few COVID regulations that affect the average citizen. While masking is still required in federal buildings and in airports/airplanes, it is up to each state to implement their own mask and vaccination mandates. Most states currently have neither, something that in unison with the spread of the Delta variant, is contributing to the current surge of COVID cases comparable to the one that occurred during the 2020 holiday season. The current seven day average for cases across America as of Aug. 19th, 2021 is 140,893 new cases per day.
The Delta variant of the Coronavirus was first identified in December 2020 in India and has since become the most predominant strain of COVID-19 due to its ability to spread much faster than the original COVID-19 virus.
There is one silver lining to these statistics though, worldwide almost 5 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and in the United States, over 350 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 49% of Americans are fully vaccinated while 57% of the US population has received at least one dose of any of the three COVID-19 vaccines.
In the state of Arizona, COVID-19 cases also continue to rise following the same path as the US. Since the start of the pandemic, almost one million Ariz. residents have contracted COVID-19 and nearly 20,000 of those have died from the virus. The current seven day average of new COVID-19 cases per day is 2,875.
Almost 4 million Arizonans (54.6% of the Ariz. population) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while nearly 3.5 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated.
The CDC classifies anyone who has had both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to be fully vaccinated and fully protected two weeks after receiving the full series of the vaccination they choose.
Yavapai county is also struggling with an increase in COVID-19 cases with Prescott and Prescott Valley contributing over 10,000 COVID-19 cases to the counties total of just over 22,000. The county is 40.7% vaccinated, a relatively low number compared to both the state of Ariz. and the US as a whole.
A pandemic that seemed to at one point be coming to an end has now reared its head and is growing faster than ever. Continue to practice good COVID-19 precautions and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
For local COVID-19 resources, such as tests and vaccination information, please visit https://yavapaiaz.gov/chs.