The new ‘super COVID’ variant first detected in the UK is continuing to sweep across the U.S. as more cases have been identified.
As of Tuesday morning, 82 infections have been detected in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas.
California currently has the highest number of reported cases with 34 in total – 32 in San Diego County and two in San Bernadino County – and Florida is close behind with 22 cases.
New York has the third highest number of cases with Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) confirming in a call with reporters on Tuesday that eight more cases had been identified in the state, bringing the total up to 12.
The strain, known as B 1.1.7., is feared to be up to 70 percent more transmissible and to spread more easily among children.
What’s more, a Minnesota case of the new variant indicates it may have been circulating in the U.S. far earlier than previously believed.
The positive sample comes from a patient that was taken on December 18 and uploaded to the global genomic database GISAID.
With other variants also confirmed in South Africa and Japan, many have criticized U.S. health agencies for failing to adequately detect and track new strains.
Additionally, health experts say the variants provide cause for the Trump administration to ramp up nationwide vaccination efforts, which have been lagging since the rollout started in December.
It comes as new interactive maps show how U.S. hospitals are overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, as the number of people admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) with the disease continues to increase.
As of Monday, a whopping 129,748 Americans are currently hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, including tens of thousands in the ICU, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.
This marks the 41st consecutive day that there are more than 100,000 U.S. citizens in the hospital being treated for the virus.
It comes as the nation recorded 204,652 cases of COVID-19 and 1,731 deaths. As of Tuesday, more than 376,000 Americans have now died and more than 22.6 million have tested positive.
An analysis from DailyMail.coms shows that the U.S. recorded more than 200,000 new cases of the virus every single day for the past week.
The maps, created by The Tracking Project, break down the number of inpatients and ICU capacity at each hospital and shows hospitalizations are at their worst in California – where the number of people receiving inpatient care continues to skyrocket.
Presently, 22,633 residents of the Golden State people are hospitalized with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19, according to the state’s department of health.
Of that number, nearly 22 percent are in the ICU.
One map, created by The COVID Tracking Project, shows the percentage of general hospital beds occupied by coronavirus patients across the country.
It reveals that highest percentage of COVID-related hospitalizations is in and around Los Angeles.
A total of 7,910 people are hospitalized in the city, county-level data reveals, taking up more than 45 percent of all general hospital beds.