Story at a glance:
- The national average of new delta variant cases reached 19,455 in the past seven days.
- Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri and Nevada are hot spots for the variant.
- In Springfield, Mo., patients between the ages of 20 and 40 are on ventilators in intensive care units .
The new delta variant has pushed the national average of new COVID-19 cases up to 19,455 in the past seven days, a 47-percent increase from the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University, CNN reported.
As Changing America previously reported, in some parts of the nation, including Missouri, the delta variant is responsible for more than 90 percent of new cases, and 93 percent of the patients in a particular ICU are on ventilators. Last year, between 40 and 50 percent of ICU coronavirus patients were on ventilators.
Now, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas and Nevada have been added to the list of hot spots, according to CNN medical analyst Jonathan Reiner.
"In places like Missouri where ICUs are packed, you're going to see a surprising amount of death," Reiner said.
Ninety percent of patients in the ICU at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo., are on ventilators and many are between the ages of 20 and 40, Chief Administrative Officer Erik Frederick told CNN.
The rise in death rates three to four weeks after the most recent spike in COVID-19 has raised alarm.
"The vaccines we have work really well against this variant. It doesn't need to be this way," Reiner said.
As Changing America previously reported, 99 percent of Americans who died of COVID-19 last month were unvaccinated, according to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Biden's chief medical adviser.
"If they're sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, they are unvaccinated. That is the absolute common denominator amongst those patients," Howard Jarvis, an emergency medicine physician in Springfield, told CNN. "I can see the regret on their face. You know, we ask them, because we want to know, are you vaccinated? And it's very clear that a lot of them regret [not being vaccinated]."
The delta, or B.1.617.2, variant was first identified in India in December 2020. While current vaccines were not designed to combat this variant, experts say they provide some protection as opposed to not being vaccinated.
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA