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Average daily COVID deaths jumped 131% in the last month, as health officials urge caution over Labor Day weekend

COVID cases spiking amid holiday travel
Officials urge caution over holiday weekend as COVID cases spike 01:55

Burbank, California — Just a few months ago, it looked like the nation was slowly emerging from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. On July 4, the average number of daily cases was under 12,500. Two months later, that number jumped to more than 160,000 — an increase of more than 1,000%, according to data from The New York Times.

Even with high vaccination rates, such as in Los Angeles County, health officials are urging residents to not let down their guard this Labor Day weekend.

The Delta variant is driving hospitalizations nationwide to levels not seen since January: There were 89,916 patients on September 2, and 89,657 patients on January 30. Daily deaths jumped 131% just over the last month, per CDC data.

ICU beds are running out in Georgia, Kentucky and Hawaii. These surges come as more kids head back to school starting Tuesday.

Since the start of this academic year, COVID outbreaks have shut down at least 1,000 schools across 35 states, according to Burbio, which tracks school opening data. Parents are worried about COVID in the classroom.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, addressed the situation on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"All the data that we are collecting right now does not give us any definitive information that the Delta variant is more severe in children," he said.

Fauci says Moderna boosters might not be ready by September 20 07:38

In Oregon, 35-year old Heather Greeley just died of COVID.        

"I kissed her on the top of her head and told her I loved her and that's the last time I saw her …" her fiance, Tyler Birk, said. They both had been fully vaccinated. "We joked about it ... she said, 'Well maybe I'm getting COVID" ... I laughed at her and said, 'shut up there's no way, no way, right?'"

Meanwhile, the Biden administration plans to offer Pfizer vaccine boosters starting on September 20 — if approved by the FDA. Moderna boosters may soon follow after that.

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