Last week, 1 in 3 U.S. COVID cases were in Florida and Texas

A health care worker at a drive-through site prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine on July 26 in Miami.
A health care worker at a drive-thru site prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine on July 26 in Miami.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

One-third of COVID-19 cases nationwide last week occurred in Florida and Texas, according to Jeffrey Zients, the White House's COVID-19 response coordinator.

This comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 44 percent increase in daily new cases in the last week of July. Last week's average of daily new COVID-19 cases is "higher than our peak of last summer," according to the CDC's director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

At a news briefing at the White House on Tuesday, Zients expressed concern about the number of COVID-19 cases being reported in communities with lower vaccination rates. Zients said about 90 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated. "Each and every shot matters," Zients added.

According to Zients, over the past two weeks there has been a 70 percent increase in the average number of new people getting vaccinated daily and a 50 percent increase in the average number of 12- to 17-year-olds getting vaccinated daily.

And in the last week, 3 million Americans got their first shot. On Tuesday, the U.S. hit President Joe Biden's July Fourth goal of 70 percent of adults receiving at least one shot.

Zients said that in the eight states with the highest case rate, the rate at which people are getting vaccinate has also increased.

"While we desperately want to be done with this pandemic, COVID-19 is clearly not done with us," Walensky said Monday, "and so our battle must last a little longer."

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

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