More than 71% of the US population — or nearly 237 million people — live in counties considered to have “high” or “substantial” Covid-19 transmission, according to a CNN analysis of data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Only 1% of the population — just 3.2 million people — live in areas with “low” transmission.
That means the latest mask CDC guidance, which advises even fully vaccinated people to mask up indoors in areas with “substantial” or “high transmission,” would apply to more than seven in 10 Americans.
About 48% are in “high” transmission counties, and 23% are in counties with “substantial” transmission.
This is up from a week ago, when just over half — 50.5% — of Americans lived in counties that fell into either category. Two weeks ago, that number was even lower: 38.5%.
In early June, 2.4% of the population lived in a county with “high” Covid-19 transmission, and another 13% in areas with “substantial” transmission.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases in the US continue to rise. The country is now averaging 63,698 new each day, according to Johns Hopkins University — that’s a 59% increase over last week’s seven-day average.
According to the CDC, the US is experiencing an uptick in vaccinations. An average of 382,106 people are initiating vaccination each day, the agency’s data published Wednesday shows. This is the highest it’s been in three weeks and a 35% increase over last week. At least 49.2% of the total US population is fully vaccinated.
Some more context on the data: The CDC considers a county to have “high” transmission if there have been 100 or more cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in the past week, or a test positivity rate of 10% or higher during the same time frame. For “low” transmission, those numbers must be fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 or a test positivity rate under 5%.
Here’s a look at the latest community spread trends: