Coronavirus

Hospitals Are Overflowing Again

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

I really did not think we would wind up in this situation again, but here we are.

The Biden administration was able to vaccinate an enormous number of people very quickly after taking office and doubled their initial goal within the first 100 days, but the vaccination rate slowed in recent months and some areas of the country never achieved a high rate.

Those areas of the country are now in the biggest trouble and hospitals are close to capacity and average daily cases are back above 100,000 according to data from the CDC.

NEW YORK, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Only eight intensive care unit beds were available on Monday in the state of Arkansas, its governor said, as the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus pushed cases and hospitalizations in the United States to a six-month high. [...]

Nationwide, COVID-19 cases have averaged 100,000 for three days in a row, up 35% over the past week, according to a Reuters tally of public health data. Louisiana, Florida and Arkansas reported the most new cases in the past week, based on population.

Hospitalizations rose 40% and deaths, a lagging indicator, registered an 18% rise nationwide in the past week.

Some hospital systems are now rationing care again.

Health workers in Texas and nearby states have struggled with a lack of intensive-care beds, said Rhiana Ireland, an emergency-room doctor who is herself struggling with what she believes is a breakthrough case.

Ireland described spending hours unsuccessfully trying to find a bed for a 22-year-old southeast Texas patient, hunting as far away as Colorado, North Dakota and Montana. All she could provide him was oxygen and steroids because her hospital lacks remdesivir or monoclonal antibodies. [...]

In Florida, adult intensive-care unit occupancy has soared to 5,804; that’s a more than seven-fold increase just since mid-July, with some hospitals converting conference rooms and cafeterias into patient areas. Florida has an overall vaccination rate close to the national average, though some counties resemble the laggard Deep South.

Math was never my strongest subject, but I believe too many people have already been vaccinated to see as many daily deaths as we did early this year. But with that said, if we've crossed back above 100,000 infections per day, that means we could push above 1,000 deaths per day again.

You remember the drill. Death is a lagging indicator and new infections occurring right now will not show up in death reports until September or October.