Virus Expert Says if You Live Here, There is Danger
The coronavirus will keep going until we band together and stop it—and, unfortunately, some states aren't banding together at all, resisting vaccines and public health measures to stop the spread. As a result, certain states are "all seeing increases of anywhere from 10 to 30% over the course of the past two weeks," says Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Read on to see which states are on the list—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Division over simple public health measures is not helping reduce the cases rising in Tennessee. "Grady Knox stepped to the lectern at the Rutherford County Board of Education meeting Tuesday to share what was at stake with a mask mandate that the board was considering that evening," reports the Washington Post. "Knox, a junior at Central Magnet High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., told the board that his grandmother, a former teacher in the district, had died of covid-19 last year because of lax mask rules. He was immediately jeered."
"More people are hospitalized in South Carolina from the coronavirus than at any point since the virus hit last March, according to data from the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control," reports The State. "At least 2,591 people were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday, the last day of reporting by DHEC. The next highest day for hospitalizations was Jan. 13, when 2,466 people were reported to be in the hospital."
"We walk into the hospital and it feels like the world is on fire," Dr. Karan Singh, a pulmonologist at Med Center Health in Bowling Green, Kentucky, told ABC News. Says the network: "Statewide, there are more than 2,600 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 — the highest on record, and currently, just 7% of intensive care beds remain available. At the state's previous peak last December, there were 1,000 fewer patients hospitalized."
"Coronavirus cases are nearing record levels in West Virginia, and the state's schools are closing and its hospitals are choked with patients stricken by the perniciously infectious Delta variant.
Just seven months ago, as the Covid vaccine was still being rolled out, the state was a national leader. By late June the state's governor, Jim Justice, a Republican, had removed a statewide mask requirement. But West Virginia has since fallen far behind, and its pandemic status has deteriorated, a situation shared with other states with large unvaccinated populations. Just under 48 percent of West Virginia's 18 and over population is fully vaccinated, the lowest of any state, according to federal data compiled by The New York Times," reports the paper.
"Some hospitals in the Triangle are postponing non-emergency surgeries and procedures, as they continue to fill up with coronavirus-related cases.
According to the North Carolina Health and Human Services Department, 3,756 COVID-19 patients were in North Carolina hospitals as of Thursday. That is an increase of more than 1,500 in a month's time," reports CBS 17. "Dr. Christopher Kelly, a cardiologist at UNC Rex hospital, wants to remind everyone that COVID-19 doesn't just impact people with the virus."
"While Colorado's COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalization rates are lower than most other states, officials said they continue to see a high level of the virus, particularly among unvaccinated individuals," reports ABC 7. "In a press conference Friday morning, Gov. Jared Polis provided a brief overview of the Colorado's status: 2,189 new cases of COVID with 902 hospitalizations. Of the 902, 17 are pediatric cases, he said, and the rest are adults. As of Friday morning, 7,560 people have died in Colorado with COVID-19, he said."
"It's worse than you think it is right now, and it's especially worse if you're unvaccinated," Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said. "We're overwhelming our hospitals, which is going to impact everyone. If you have a car accident, if you need your appendix removed, if you need an emergency room, it's going to be tough. My message really is, please, please, please get vaccinated."
"Earlier this week, state public health officials activated crisis standards of care for at least 10 hospitals across ten Northern Idaho counties because of an unprecedented surge of hospitalizations due to COVID-19," reports NPR. "This means health care facilities are overwhelmed and are now rationing care for everyone, regardless of their diagnosis. Hospitals are canceling most surgeries, warning of long wait times, and urging people to avoid risky activities that could land them in the emergency room because, bottom line, there might not be a bed available."
"Five months after COVID-19 vaccinations were opened to all Wyoming adults, nearly as many people are hospitalized with the virus here as were a month before the shots arrived," reports the Casper Star Tribune. "On Wednesday, there were 233 people being treated for COVID-19 in Wyoming hospitals. Nearly 3,500 Wyomingites had active COVID-19 infections, up from about 2,000 a month earlier.
But this surge differs from last year's in that the state has the tools it needs to fight the virus. Vaccines are widely available; masks and other personal protective equipment are no longer in short supply."
"In the early days of the school year some Montana districts are already closing classrooms due to COVID-19 cases.
In a letter to parents Wednesday, the Monforton School District outside of Bozeman announced it's shifting all of its sixth and seventh graders, as well as a fifth-grade class, to remote learning," reports Montana Public Radio. "Superintendent Darren Strauch says the number of close contacts stemming from the seven positive cases in the district is straining staffing. The district also wants to prevent possible spread in the classroom where masking is optional. Strauch says the school board is likely to review the masking policy in the coming weeks."
"North Dakota is rounding off the most intense week of the latest COVID-19 outbreak with another major increase in active infections," reports Inforum.
Hospitals officials warn that the worsening outbreak, driven by the highly infectious delta variant, could overwhelm the state's health care system if more residents don't buy into vaccination, mask-wearing and social distancing."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow Fauci's 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.