(CNN)The United States is facing a pivotal moment in the coronavirus pandemic, given that the Delta variant is spurring surges in cases and hospitalizations: It must increase vaccinations or risk magnifying the impact, the surgeon general said.

“If we want to keep our kids in school, if we want to protect the economy, if we want our country to get through this pandemic, we have to leave no stone unturned in making sure people get vaccinated,” US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.American workers are facing increasing pressure to get vaccinated against Covid-19American workers are facing increasing pressure to get vaccinated against Covid-19American workers are facing increasing pressure to get vaccinated against Covid-19Murthy’s comment came after President Joe Biden announced that all federal employees must attest to being vaccinated against Covid-19 or face strict protocols including regular testing, masking and other mitigation measures. Also emerging late this week: The Delta variant appears to cause more severe illness and spread as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The document — a slide presentation first reported by The Washington Post — outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people, even if they don’t get sick, might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people.Read MoreThe CDC on Friday is scheduled to publish data that will back its decision this week to change the agency’s guidance on mask use.Meanwhile, coronavirus case rates have jumped as the Delta variant has increased its grip in the US.The US averaged more than 66,900 new daily cases over the last week — an average that’s generally risen since the country hit a 2021 low of 11,299 daily cases on June 22, according to Johns Hopkins University data.With strict rules in place, Chicago hopes Lollapalooza will be remembered for the great music and not Covid-19 casesWith strict rules in place, Chicago hopes Lollapalooza will be remembered for the great music and not Covid-19 casesWith strict rules in place, Chicago hopes Lollapalooza will be remembered for the great music and not Covid-19 casesHospitalizations have also risen. More than 39,000 Covid-19 patients were in US hospitals on Monday — a number that’s generally risen since a 2021 low of nearly 15,988 on June 27, according to Department of Health and Human Services data.Data shows a difference between areas with high and low vaccination rates. Average hospitalization rates are nearly three times higher in states that have fully vaccinated less than half of their residents compared with those that have vaccinated more than half of their residents, according to a CNN analysis of federal data. And Covid-19 case and death rates over the past week are more than twice as high among states that have vaccinated less than half of their residents, on average. With only 49.4% of Americans fully vaccinated, former US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Thursday that he anticipates more closures as the Delta variant keeps spreading. And with some mask and vaccine mandates already implemented, Murthy anticipates more will be added.”The private sector is already stepping up to create verification systems,” Murthy said. “What we are going to see more and more, Anderson, in the weeks and months ahead is, I believe, we’re going to see more universities, more hospitals, more businesses, more retail establishments looking to put rules in place to require people to get vaccinated.” CDC document on Delta variant: ‘The war has changed’The internal CDC document that said the Delta variant appears to cause more severe infection advises that the agency should “acknowledge the war has changed.”CDC document warns Delta variant appears to spread as easily as chickenpox and cause more severe infectionCDC document warns Delta variant appears to spread as easily as chickenpox and cause more severe infectionCDC document warns Delta variant appears to spread as easily as chickenpox and cause more severe infectionIt recommends vaccine mandates and universal mask requirements.CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky confirmed the authenticity of the document.”I think people need to understand that we’re not crying wolf here. This is serious,” she told CNN.The document says the Delta variant is about as transmissible as chickenpox, with each infected person, on average, infecting eight or nine others. The original lineage was about as transmissible as the common cold, with each infected person passing the virus to about two other people on average.Some states are seeing the consequences of the virus’ spread unfold.Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he was reinstating a public health emergency because of the rise in Covid cases. CDC's new masking guidance prompted by science that emerged in just the last several days, Walensky saysCDC's new masking guidance prompted by science that emerged in just the last several days, Walensky saysCDC's new masking guidance prompted by science that emerged in just the last several days, Walensky says“Anytime you are having staffing shortages in hospital(s). Whenever, today I believe, it’s four Covid patients that are waiting in ambulances to be able to find a hospital to go to. That constitutes an emergency and a public health crisis” Hutchinson said. In central Florida, Advent Health said it had about 1,000 Covid-19 patients as of Thursday, surpassing the January peak of around 900, according to a press release. In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice said the state’s Covid-19 task force will begin assessing the state’s PPE and hospital and nursing home preparedness.Justice said the state will be working with Pfizer to conduct a “battlefield assessment” about the efficacy of the vaccine’s antibodies on fighting the Delta variant.”The enemy is coming, and the enemy is this Delta variant,” Justice said. First grade student Daniel Cano, 5, and his mom, Sonia Cano, walk past Covid-19 safety precaution/ social distancing and hand washing signs at a L.A. Unified  "meet and greet" with its medical advisors.First grade student Daniel Cano, 5, and his mom, Sonia Cano, walk past Covid-19 safety precaution/ social distancing and hand washing signs at a L.A. Unified  "meet and greet" with its medical advisors.First grade student Daniel Cano, 5, and his mom, Sonia Cano, walk past Covid-19 safety precaution/ social distancing and hand washing signs at a L.A. Unified “meet and greet” with its medical advisors.Experts weigh on on prospects for booster shotsAmid the surge, the conversation has turned to whether boosters will be needed to enhance the vaccine protection — but many experts say the time for that is still far off. “Booster shots will come, better guidance on who needs serology tests, when you check antibodies, which ones you check, those will all come,” Dr. Joseph Kanter, state health officer of the Louisiana Department of Health said during a call of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “I don’t think it changes anything of what we need to be doing right now, which primarily is increase the base of the generally vaccinated population.”Staff at a Florida hospital say they are hearing panic, fear and regret from unvaccinated Covid-19 patientsStaff at a Florida hospital say they are hearing panic, fear and regret from unvaccinated Covid-19 patientsStaff at a Florida hospital say they are hearing panic, fear and regret from unvaccinated Covid-19 patientsDr. Nirav Shah, ASTHO president and director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, agreed. “To be candid with you, right now, I’m really focused on getting folks first doses, rather than third doses,” Shah said. Any decision on a booster dose depends on more data, a prominent member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee Dr. Paul Offit told CNN on Thursday.It is possible the US could know by the end of summer or early fall, Murthy said. “We have been tracking more than 20 cohorts across the nation, looking at for evidence of when immunity may wane and when breakthrough infections may increase,” he said.If the time does come that boosters are needed, Americans will be able to get them in “a fast and efficient manner,” White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday.

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/30/health/us-coronavirus-friday/index.html

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