Delta variant brings disruptions to schools across the U.S.

CNBC’s Steve Liesman reports on the back-to-school edition of the Road Back Barometer as schools face disruption from the delta covid variant. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO:

Covid-19 case counts in the U.S. are showing signs of easing off their latest highs but remain elevated as the country heads into the fall season and colder weather.

The seven-day average of daily Covid cases is about 144,300 as of Sept. 12, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That figure is down 12% over the past week and 14% from the most-recent peak in case counts on Sept. 1, when the country was reporting an average of roughly 167,600 cases per day.

“This is good news,” said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, chair of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It could represent that we have reached a peak and we are now on the way down.”

The U.S. has seen several swings in daily Covid cases since the pandemic started. Average daily cases topped out at about 32,000 in April 2020 before subsiding. They then surged and peaked at 67,000 by July 2020. The pace of new cases fell after Labor Day 2020 before surging to a record high of 251,000 cases per day in January. There was also a steep drop-off after the holidays, followed with another jump to about 71,000 cases per day this past April.

“Every epidemic goes through cycles and eventually wanes, and that happens when you have enough people who are resistant,” Casadevall said, explaining that the combination of vaccinations and high number of infections this summer could be helping the country turn a corner.

However, he cautioned that the virus has been unpredictable. “I would just be careful declaring anything except some degree of optimism with the fact that the numbers are going down.”

There are also some promising signs in Covid hospitalization and death tallies. The data on these tends to lag case counts by a couple weeks or more, as it takes time for people to become infected with the virus and then get sick enough to need urgent care.

About 100,600 Americans are currently hospitalized with Covid, according to a seven-day average of data from the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s down 2% from a week ago.

Though current hospitalizations had not been over 100,000 since January before crossing that level again in late August, the pace of new Covid patients entering the hospital is now on the decline. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows a 6.8% drop in the seven-day average of hospital admissions for the week ending Sept. 10 compared to the week prior.

The daily death toll, though, is still on the rise. The country is reporting an average of more than 1,600 Covid deaths per day over the past week, according to Hopkins data. That’s a six-month high. Daily deaths are up 4% over the past week, however, a more modest increase than the weekly change of 26% reported two weeks ago.

Still, the U.S. is heading into the fall season, with students back in school and colder weather approaching, driving people indoors where the virus spreads more easily.

“I do think it’s likely that we hit the peak, but I think the one thing that we need to see before we know that for sure is what the data look like after the entire country has started the school season,” said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious diseases at Northwell Health in New York. With the school year just starting in the Northeast, it could be weeks before any potential classroom-related outbreaks are visible.

» Subscribe to CNBC TV:
» Subscribe to CNBC:
» Subscribe to CNBC Classic:

Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock market news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates CNBC is the leader in business news worldwide.

The News with Shepard Smith is CNBC’s daily news podcast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories. Available to listen by 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT daily beginning September 30:

Connect with CNBC News Online
Get the latest news:
Follow CNBC on LinkedIn:
Follow CNBC News on Facebook:
Follow CNBC News on Twitter:
Follow CNBC News on Instagram:



You may also like...

20 Responses

  1. Will March says:

    Joe is an idiot. You can hate on the coronavirus all you want, dude. The reopening is going nowhere if ANOTHER variant comes back next year. I can't stand Joe. He is living in a fantasy world. Dude, we have a virus issue. Who cares about the f—–ing market.

  2. Warren Yu says:

    USA deserves every single covid death they have



  4. cat videos says:

    The school disruptions have nothing to do with Delta variant and everything to do with flippant emergency declarations and hypochondriacs.

  5. Jeff Beegle says:

    Don't know why,it's all a fairytale

  6. Michael Harris says:

    Crash Market Crash

  7. gary grant says:

    If the vaccine is mandated in many different fields of work, you will see mass shortages of people.

  8. gary grant says:

    I have four grand children in three different schools. No mask mandates.
    I must presume those that are closed, are for teachers not showing up, not because the kids are sick.
    If a child is presumed to be sick in my grandchildren's schools they are picked up by parents. Most illnesses are not Covid at all. These schools have been open for more than a month as well.
    If a child wears a mask, no problem as a few do in each class.
    For schools that are closed there is missing information as to why they are.

  9. Fast4oward says:

    Fake causes, multiple times a student coughs or sneeze…end home right away.reason its covid must stay home for 10 days or do test.

  10. carey jernigan says:

    wallstreet doesn't even care when children are sick and dying…
    teachers, bus drivers,,and all school employees are dying to keep schools open,,,
    and wallsreet does what it does….
    how much money has been made on covid deaths,,,billions, every pill we take,,,hospital being full of covid patients,,every death, every gun bought, and bullet made in this time of crisis ,,,,Wall street makes a living off of what ever happens.
    pull the plug,,and make them pay for our misery….it's past time…..

  11. Nidia Luccioni says:

    Wow Things Bad For Teacher And Students From The COVID-19 And Delta Variant Virus in The South
    Stay Safe Everyone

  12. Kwan Yiu says:

    What goes up must come down,

    The MOA crashes incoming on Bidens term

    Prepare, and good luck



  14. Stef X says:

    Delta comes from the vaccine

  15. txbre says:

    ya tell me about it – they shut down the school near me because not only are the kids sick but all the teachers too. (They aren’t required to be vaccinated in Texas before anyone says anything).

  16. Be Nice says:

    Digital Gold is On Sale today.
    Bitcoin is going to $100,000.

  17. Veraty Son says:

    The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: "the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left".

  18. Millard Brown says:

    How is the market going down? I was told the market only goes up but it's been going down. I don't understand.

  19. warrenrose68 says:

    man i really don't like joe

  20. Daniel Hutchinson says:

    The rush to support the flow of funds to investors,
    may have been proven to be a bit premature?

Leave a Reply