CDC: British variant of COVID-19 has become the most common in the United States

More than 62,000 people in the U.S. are infected with the coronavirus each week

Dr. Rochelle Walenski, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday that a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus known as B-117, which was originally found in Britain, is now the most common strain of the virus causing COVID-19 in the United States.

During a White House briefing, Walenski said this variant has proven to be more dangerous because many young Americans are infected with it, which she said has contributed to the rise in cases in recent weeks.

The CDC director said the average weekly number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose 2.3 percent from the previous week, to 62,878. She added that there are reports of pockets of infection across the country linked to daycare centers and youth sports.

Hospitalizations were also up about 2.7 percent per day over the past week. Walenski said hospitals are admitting more and more people between the ages of 30 and 40 who are admitted in serious condition.

Although an average of three million Americans are now vaccinated each day in the United States, the encouraging news is offset by an increase in the rate at which the virus is spreading.

The United States, according to Walenski, needs to continue to ramp up its vaccination program, but people on the ground also need to do their part.

Walenski urged local – urban and rural – communities to think about adjustments based on their specific needs and circumstances. In areas with significant infection rates, she said, people should consider refraining from indoor sports and cancelling other activities that cannot be done with social distance. In addition, mass events should be postponed. The day before, for example, it was reported that the Major League Baseball team, the Texas Rangers, had a home game this week with 38,000 fans in attendance.

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