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COVID-19 Cases Increase by 875% Since June, U.S. Hospitals Sinking under the Load

Aug. 15, 2021 (EIRNS)—The need for a fully functioning modern hospital system, where an infected person can go to be treated by medical staff, rather than deteriorate at home, is once again coming to the fore in the United States. It is even more true in the developing world, where facilities are very limited, and often outdated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the nation’s 7-day average of daily new cases was 113,357, as of Aug. 11. That is a 24% increase from the week before and a 876% jump from the lowest case average in June. The CDC also reports that the delta variant makes up 97% of new U.S. COVID cases.

This is like a vise being applied against the U.S. hospital system.

In Oregon, as of Aug. 13, the state’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate reached 16 per 100,000 residents, an increase of 128% in the past 14 days, and the fifth largest increase among all states. “If you come to our hospital for any reason, we might not be able to help you,” Amanda Kotler, RN, vice president of nursing at Asante Rogue Medical Center in Medford and Asante Ashland Community hospital told an Aug. 12 news conference.

In Mississippi, state health officials are asking for federal help because the state’s hospital system is on the brink of failure. More than 1,500 people in the state are hospitalized with the virus, filling nearly 400 intensive care unit beds, with no new beds available. Jackson-based University of Mississippi Medical Center is transforming part of its parking garage into a 50-bed field hospital to meet demand, said Dr. Alan Jones, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs. Jones further said, “If we track a week or so when we look at the case positivity rate, the rate of new cases, the rate of hospitalizations ... [if] we continue that trajectory within the next 5 to 7 to 10 days, I think we’re going to see the failure of the hospital system in Mississippi.”

In Tennessee, the crisis is intense in some locales. Dr. Geoff Lifferth of Summer Regional Medical Center of Gallatin, a Nashville suburb, wrote, “As an ER doc and a healthcare administrator, the past week has been one of the most exhausting and disheartening of my career. The delta variant has burned through us with a ferocity that’s hard to describe.” In six weeks, Nashville hospitalizations are up 900%.

As for the United States as a whole, COVID patient hospitalizations surged from 12,600 to 77,700, between June 11 and Aug. 13, a leap of over 500%. While deaths for the vaccinated may not be high, most of the patients are unvaccinated, for whom the delta strain can be deadly.

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