The U.S. death toll topped 3.3 million last year according to a new government report.
That's the country's highest annual death toll and up almost 16 percent over the year before.
Take a look at this: COVID caused about 375,000 deaths last year and was the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
The virus has killed more than 550,000 people in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. This week the number of new cases of the virus is up 12 percent from last week's seven-day average.
The head of the CDC says we can't afford to let our guard down.
"As we see increases in cases, we can't afford to let our guard down. We are so close. So very close to getting back to the everyday activities we all miss so much, but we're not quite there yet," said the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "We need to keep taking the mitigation measures, like wearing a mask and social distancing as we continue to get more and more Americans vaccinated every single day."
So far more than 37 percent of adults in the U.S. have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine. And 16 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated.
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