Story at a glance
- Coronavirus hospitalizations in the U.S have eclipsed a number not seen since January.
- A Washington Post analysis found that reported daily cases are also at their highest points in months.
- The Post’s analysis found that hospitalization rates are highest in the South.
Coronavirus hospitalizations in the U.S have reportedly eclipsed 100,000 for the first time since January as the delta variant surges across the country.
New cases, according to an analysis from The Washington Post, also reached a near eight-month high, with new reported cases on Wednesday sitting around 148,000 — January’s high case counts were averaging approximately 150,000 daily. The average number of daily deaths in the U.S., as of Wednesday, was roughly 1,100. Meanwhile, average deaths at the end of January were around 3,100.
The director of the National Institute of Health, Francis Collins, expressed concern earlier in August that daily case-loads in the U.S. could soon surpass the 200,000 mark.
“I will be surprised if we don’t cross 200,000 cases a day in the next couple of weeks, and that’s heartbreaking considering we never thought we would be back in that space again,” Collins told Fox News.
“That was January-February, that shouldn’t be August. But here we are with the delta variant, which is so contagious, and this heartbreaking situation where 90 million people are still unvaccinated who are sitting ducks for this virus and that’s the mess we’re in,” he continued. “We’re in a world of hurt and it’s a critical juncture to try to do everything we can to turn that around.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW
The Post’s analysis found that hospitalization rates are highest in the South, with soaring numbers in Florida and Texas. More than 17,000 people are hospitalized in Florida, and more than 14,000 in Texas.
Both states are embroiled in controversy over vaccine and mask mandates, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issuing an executive order Wednesday that prohibits state funded entities from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine could lead to more vaccine mandates, top health experts, including U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, have said.
“There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer workplace or a learning environment,” Murthy said.
“I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place,” he added.
Nearly 52 percent of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated while 61 percent received at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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