(CNN) — More than 100,000 people are currently hospitalized with covid-19 in the United States, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This figure puts the US in a worse situation than it was in August last year.
This Wednesday, there were 100,317 people hospitalized with the virus, more than double the 48,851 on the same day last year.
Hospitalizations for the covid-19 virus have been increasing in the US for about seven weeks, since the beginning of July. They have almost tripled in the last month and have grown by 10% in the last week alone.
With 48.3% of Americans still not fully vaccinated, cases are on the rise once again, and with them has come the strain on hospitals struggling to treat the wave of arriving patients.
Florida has been hit especially hard, with the worst per capita rate in the country – about 80 hospitalizations per 100,000 people – followed by Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana, each with more than 55 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, according to data from the HHS.
“I had to turn away a cancer patient who needed emergency treatment,” Florida oncologist Dr. Nitesh Paryani told CNN. “For the first time in my family’s sixty-year history of treating cancer, we had to turn someone down […] We just didn’t have a bed. There just wasn’t room in the hospital to treat the patient, “he said.
Paryani said her Tampa emergency room recently had a 12-hour wait.
In New Mexico, Acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said that if nothing changes, the state is on track to meet crisis care standards within the next week to accommodate the continued increase in cases.
A “worse” situation than in 2020
Scrase said that covid-19 intensive care hospitalizations have risen so rapidly, officials are having trouble creating accurate graphs to illustrate it.
“As we are at more than 100% of our capacity, these beds fill up before we have time to make the map,” he said.
Not only are the gross numbers significantly worse than last year, but the situation is even more tragic because of the protective measures that have been made available since then, Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Advisory Committee, told CNN. on Vaccines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Last August, we had a totally susceptible population and we didn’t have a vaccine. Now, we have half the country vaccinated, and many have already been infected naturally, which is protective,” Offit said. “But nevertheless, the numbers are worse […] the delta variant is a great game changer, “he warned.
Some leaders change tactics, others redouble their bet
Faced with the increase in cases in much of the country, some leaders have implemented measures to mitigate the spread, while others have rejected them.
Authorities in Baltimore County, Maryland, declared a local state of emergency on Tuesday after the seven-day rate of covid-19 cases increased 370% since July.
“While we have made undeniable progress in our fight against this deadly virus, the rapid emergence of the delta variant has made it clear that we need access to all the tools to be able to respond to it,” County Official Johnny Olszewski said in a statement. .
In Maui, Hawaii, Mayor Michael Victorino asked residents and visitors to respond to the increase in cases and hospitalizations there by avoiding unnecessary activities for at least three weeks. Victorino is also asking Governor David Ige to pass new mandatory restrictions on the size of meetings.
“This is not rocket science. It is very simple,” Victorino said Tuesday. “We have to go one step further.”
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined many other leaders who have announced the obligation to vaccinate public employees against COVID-19.
Against the mandates of use of masks
Meanwhile, the governors of Texas and Florida have redoubled their positions against vaccination mandates and the use of masks.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a decree Wednesday that extends the current policy that prohibits vaccination mandates by “any government entity” across the state, according to a statement from his office.
And Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who previously issued a decree prohibiting mask-wearing mandates in schools, reiterated Wednesday that school districts that impose mask use “are violating state law.”
“We believe that parents are best placed to make that decision and if these entities are going to violate state law […] there are consequences for that, “DeSantis said, responding to questions from reporters.
Unprecedented increase in covid-19 infections in children
With the absence of vaccinations for children under 12 and the beginning of classes across the country, experts are concerned about the growing number of infections among children.
Texas Children’s Hospital is seeing an unprecedented rise in coronavirus cases, with a record number of children hospitalized by the virus, and children presenting themselves sicker than before, Dr. Jim Versalovic, chief pediatrician, told CNN Wednesday. interim of the Houston-based hospital system.
“We have reached new records in the delta surge,” Versalovic said. “We had peaked at more than 900 cases in one week, in early January 2021. That was our peak of the winter surge. We have now surpassed 1,300 cases in one week,” he added.
Earlier this year and last year, many children who tested positive for coronavirus had mild or no symptoms, he said.
“What we are seeing now are more symptomatic children and children with very prominent fever, congestion, fatigue and other symptoms,” including coughing, he said. “A greater proportion of children infected by the delta variant present with symptomatic infections, with notable symptoms,” he added.
“We have seen more infants and young children who have a symptomatic infection and are hospitalized with COVID-19,” Versalovic further stated.
And in Louisiana, the state Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that a child under the age of one died from COVID-19, the first death of such a young child in the state in more than six months, Gov. John Bel Edwards said. .
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee also reminded parents on Wednesday that masks are the best tool to protect their children against contagion.
“All parents can have their children wear a mask to school, as a tool to mitigate the contagion, to ensure that their child is in school more days,” said the governor.
Last week, Lee signed a decree that gives parents the ability to choose not to have their children wear a mask to school, should a school or health board implement it.
Deidre McPhillips, Lauren Mascarenhas, Kiely Westhoff, Andy Rose, Carma Hassan, Keith Allen, Melissa Alonso, Kate Conerly, Maggie Fox y Rebekah Riess, de CNN, contribuyeron a este informe.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism