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Charts: The Delta variant is hitting hard across the country, but especially in less-vaccinated places

Ryan Huddle

The super contagious Delta variant is driving up coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country, especially in places where fewer people have gotten vaccinated, public health officials say.

Officials are pleading with people to get their shots, saying it remains the best way for people to protect themselves and others.

With alarm rising over a deadly virus that can spread more easily than the cold or flu, vaccination rates nationally have slowly risen. But surveys indicate that many people are still unsure whether they’ll get the shots - and others say they definitely won’t.


“We knew how the variant spread and we know the vaccines prevent the spread,” President Biden said Tuesday in defending his administration’s handling of the response to Delta. “What is disappointing is that more people were not willing to take the vaccine.”

The following graphics offer a state-level look at pandemic metrics and vaccination trends across the country.

First, let’s look at the different levels of cases in states across the nation.

Now let’s look at the case trends since June 1 in the five states hit hardest.

Here are the lowest 5 just for comparison. Note that the curves are also going up but the scales on the charts are much different.

Next let’s look at how hard states are being hit in terms of hospitalizations and ICU use. Click on the dropdown box to compare states.

What role do vaccinations play? This chart is worth a thousand words. It illustrates how the more-vaccinated states are seeing fewer cases than the less-vaccinated states.

Finally, this chart underscores the importance of people getting their shots, indicating that in every state the vast majority of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are among the unvaccinated.

Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.