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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As health leaders across the country continue to stress the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19, new data suggests that the delta variant is spreading quickly across the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting drastic increases across the country in the number of people contracting COVID-19.

On Friday, the CDC reported the current seven-day moving average of daily new cases increased 69.3% compared to last week’s numbers.

Also, the current seven-day average of new hospital admissions for COVID-19 is 35.8% higher than this time last week.

Officials also stress that deaths have increased 26.3% compared to the previous seven-day moving average.

In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported dramatic increases in the number of new cases and hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

“Our numbers are just heading in the wrong direction,”

Patti Davis, president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association

In fact, Oklahoma’s seven-day average of new cases stands at 560 new cases per day. Just one month ago, Oklahoma’s seven-day average was 163 new cases per day.

Health officials also reported 323 patients being hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday compared to 208 hospitalized patients just one week ago.

In a breakdown of the numbers, Friday’s hospitalization number is a 55% increase from one week ago, and a 132% increase from two weeks ago when there were only 139 people hospitalized with the virus.

Oklahoma health leaders attribute the rise in cases to the number of Oklahomans still unvaccinated, along with the more infectious Delta variant.

“This Delta variant is more deadly than the original,” said Dr. Mary Clarke, Oklahoma State Medical Association President.

At this point, officials say Oklahoma ranks 12th in the nation in the number of reported COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.

Davis says that 50 percent of those new cases are from patients in the 15 to 44-year-old age group.