The seven-day average of coronavirus infections in the United States has surged six-fold within a month.

From an average of 11000-plus cases reported on June 28, the seven day average has increased to 66924 on July 28, according to relevant data analyzed by The New York Times. This is the highest weekly average recorded since April 19.

68771 new coronavirus infections were reported in the country on Wednesday. With this, the national total has increased to 34,672,829, as per the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

COVID-related deaths reported on the same day – 513 – are higher than the weekly average. It takes the national COVID death toll to 611,801.

Florida reported the most number of cases – 16038 – and most COVID-related deaths – 92.

The number of people hospitalized due to coronavirus infection in the country has risen to 36680, marking 73 percent increase in two weeks.

As of July 28, 189.4 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

163.5 million people, or 49.3 percent of the U.S. population, are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

79.9 percent of people above 65 have received both vaccine doses.

A total of 29,603,958 people have so far recovered from the disease in the country.

343,361,524 vaccine doses have been administered so far nationally.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Defense Department directed employees working in areas at high risk for transmission to begin using face masks again as a measure to prevent the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially the fast-moving, highly-transmittable Delta variant.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks signed a memorandum to this effect based on guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the Biden administration is strongly considering a vaccine mandate for federal employees.

“While no decision has been finalized, I will say that the attestation of vaccination for federal employees is one option under strong consideration,” she told reporters at a briefing aboard Air Force One Wednesday. Attestation means confirming vaccination status or abiding by stringent COVID-19 protocols, like mandatory mask wearing, even in communities not with high or subsequent substantial spread, and regular testing, she added.

In a speech at the White House Thursday, President Joe Biden will lay out the next steps in his administration’s efforts to get more Americans vaccinated and combat the spread of the Delta variant.

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