The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is gaining momentum. The number of patients in hospitals has already reached the level of the previous summer and is constantly growing. The worst-hit states face a shortage of places and staff in hospitals. The worst situation is in Florida, where almost a fifth of all new infections in the US are recorded.
According to the data of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently over 43.6 thousand patients with COVID-19 in US hospitals, which corresponds to the level of July 2020. Until a month ago, that number was less than 12,000.
According to CDC data, about 95 percent. hospitalized COVID-19 cases are unvaccinated.
The worst-hit states face a shortage of places and staff
While the current figures are well below the January winter peak in infections this year (120,000 inpatients), some of the most affected states face a shortage of places and staff in hospitals. This is especially true of the states of the American South, such as Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida. In the latter state, the numbers of new infections and patients in hospitals are at the highest since the start of the pandemic.
The wave of infections – fueled by the more contagious Delta variant – has forced the country’s largest medical facilities to establish new departments, cutting admissions and struggling with a shortage of staff, according to ABC TV.
“The influx of sick people is overwhelming,” said Mary Mayhew, head of the Florida hospital association. – We are dealing with a new variant and the current dramatic increase (of infections – ed.) Is completely different from that of the previous summer – she noted.
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Florida has almost a fifth of all new infections in the US
According to state governor Ron DeSantis, the wave of the Florida pandemic is seasonal and has to do with people flocking to confined air-conditioned rooms due to the heat. The Republican is known for his staunch opposition to the restrictions. On Monday, he threatened to cut funding for schools that, following CDC recommendations, will make the wearing of masks compulsory. In response to these threats, Broward County has opted out of implementing the rules.
While Florida now accounts for nearly one-fifth of all reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., infection rates are on the rise in nearly all states and have more than quadrupled in the past month.
Poll: Americans blame the new wave on the unvaccinated
According to an Ipsos poll for Axios, most Americans – 79 percent – blame the new wave of unvaccinated infections.
The survey also shows that concerns about a new wave of the pandemic resulted in a slight increase – by two percentage points – in the number of people declaring their willingness to be vaccinated. The percentage of people strongly opposed to immunization has also slightly decreased, which is now 15 percent.
CDC data also show that the vaccination campaign in the last two weeks has accelerated, mainly in those receiving the first dose.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JUSTIN LANE