COVID-19 hospitalizations have hit 100,000 for the first time since January. Doctors are staging walkouts. Nurses are exhausted. Look past the headlines and you will see more and more Americans dying or hospitalized due to severe disease caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus. If you felt invincible last year, please reconsider. “I think most of us thought once we got through the winter or people started getting vaccinated, we said, Okay, the worst is behind us. We’re not going to deal with this again,” virus expert Ashish Jha told Good Morning America. That didn’t happen because “we never expected that a third of Americans would opt not to get vaccinated.” As a result, the following 5 states have hospitals overflowing; one is even begging tourists not to come. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
“‘Every day we see just the body boxes roll out one after the other and then as soon as we clean the room we get somebody back in there… It’s the worst we’ve ever seen.’ That’s what ICU nurse Clarissa Carson told CBS News’ Janet Shamlian Wednesday at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Oregon, where COVID-19 patients have filled the hospital,” reports CBS News. “Shamlian reported constant turnover in the hospital’s intensive care unit, but not because patients are getting better.” “We have patients waiting to get onto life support,” ICU Dr. Somnath Ghosh said. “The turnaround is so rapid, it’s pretty sad.”
“Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has reinstated a mask mandate for the state, requiring masks indoors for residents as he says the state is ‘running out of time as our hospitals run out of beds,'” reports 5 Chicago. “The new indoor mask mandate, similar to mandates already handed down in Cook County and Chicago, will begin Monday and require facial coverings in indoor settings, regardless of COVID vaccination status.” “Illinois will join several other states that have reinstituted statewide indoor mask requirements, regardless of vaccination status, effective on Monday,” Pritzker said. “Masks work. Period.”
Florida has the most people hospitalized at more than 17,000. “South Florida COVID patients are filling ICU beds at rates not seen before. A new dashboard released by Palm Beach County Thursday reveals that only 4% of ICU beds in its 17 hospitals are available. In Broward County, only 3% of ICU beds at its 16 hospitals are available, its dashboard shows,” reports the Sun Sentinel. “Across the state, the situation is just as bleak. With COVID patients getting sicker and many on ventilators, only 5% of intensive care beds are open to new patients, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services data.“
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Texas has 14,000-plus people hospitalized with COVID. “As the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 spreads and sends unvaccinated Texans to the hospital with serious illness, hospitals are under enormous pressure to make room for growing numbers of patients,” reports the Texas Tribune. “Hospital staff has never been in shorter supply, which deepens the strain on all departments, including emergency rooms, respiratory therapy and even labor and delivery. Without the capacity to take on new patients — and equally thin resources elsewhere to transfer them to — doctors fear they’ll have to start making heartbreaking decisions about care in order to save the most lives possible.”
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“New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Grisham has announced a temporary indoor mask mandate following a 90 percent increase in statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations over the last two weeks,” reports Newsweek. “In addition to the mandate, Grisham announced mandatory vaccinations for all personnel working in care settings and schools.” “We can’t continue our economic recovery and our positive economic journey if we have out of control COVID cases in the state of New Mexico,” Grisham said. “We’re gonna use masks and vaccines to blunt the spread of COVID and see if we can’t rebalance where we are as a state, particularly given the Delta variant.”
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No matter where you live, follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.