Coronavirus News Update – August 7: 700,000 Descend on South Dakota as Delta Variant Surges

By Paul Riegler on 7 August 2021
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Epcot Theme Park at Walt Disney World

What could become a superspreader event in South Dakota is being held in the Black Hills.  The event will temporarily double the population of the state, which is over 884,000, with some 700,000 attendees.  Despite the fact that most large events have been cancelled thus far this year, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is nonetheless being held, Delta be damned. Last year, before the advent of the India, or Delta, variant, hundreds of cases were directly linked to the event although the true total was difficult to calculate because infected bikers returned home immediately after the event, making contact tracing difficult if not impossible.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded 202.6 million Covid-19 cases and almost 4.4 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 182.2 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 106,723, a 113% change and a trend that is fueled by the highly contagious India, or Delta, variant. The 14-day average number for the world is 609,406, a 14% increase, while the average death toll over the same period is 9,213, a -4% decline.

In the United States, the death toll is now 632,647, an increase of 648 in the past day.  Since the start of the pandemic the country has recorded almost 36.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country and one that is followed by India, which now has over 31.9 million officially recorded cases and 428,565 officially recorded deaths, although experts believe that both number are in reality significantly higher.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year over 4.36 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Saturday morning, an increase of 0.05 billion and the equivalent of over 57 doses for every 100 people, a one-dose increase per hundred over the previous 24 hours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Saturday, 193.8 million people in the United States – or 58.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 50%, or 165.9 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 348.9 million. Breaking this down further, 70.6% of the population over the age of 18 – or 182.4 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 60.9% of the same group – or 157.3 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Disney theme parks now require face masks for indoor attractions for anyone over the age of two. The move comes as coronavirus cases sharply rise across the state of Florida.

A Texas lawmaker died of the coronavirus days after publicly criticizing vaccines intended to combat the pandemic.  Scott Apley, a first-term member of the Dickinson City Council and State Republican Executive Committee member, died on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, lunacy continues over New York City’s new vaccine passport program that only allows those with proof of inoculation to enter restaurants, fitness centers, theaters, event venues, and cinemas.  Boston’s acting mayor, Kim Janey, compared the policy to slavery-era freedom papers. Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who is standing for mayor in an upcoming election, criticized the comment, saying in a tweet “that this kind of rhetoric is dangerous.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said Friday that he regretted banning mask mandates in the state. “In hindsight, I wish that had not become law,” he said at a news conference.

Cruise lines are continuing to boost measures on U.S. sailings that would mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Holland American cruise lines all require a negative Covid-19 test in order to board effective immediately.

Finally, Congressman Ralph Norman, who is suing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over the mask mandate in the chamber, contracted Covid.  He will spend the majority of the August recess in quarantine after having said that the House mandate is a product of “unjustified fear.”

Jonathan Spira and Kurt Stolz contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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