These States Seeing "Big COVID Spikes"
COVID-19 cases are rising again. "We're already starting to see places with low vaccination rates starting to have relatively big spikes from the Delta variant," Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN. This new strain of COVID-19 is more transmissible and thus more dangerous. "Those are the places where we're going to see more hospitalizations and deaths as well, unfortunately." He added grimly: "And any time you have large outbreaks, it does become a breeding ground for potentially more variants." Read on to see if your state was one of the ones he mentioned—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.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has been appearing on national TV networks, pleading with his citizens to get vaccinated but admitted some are still wary because his state is rural and conservative. "Arkansas with highest rate of new cases in US. Hospitalizations increasing, up 46%. Test positivity 15%. Next two months are likely to be very difficult in Arkansas hospitals," tweeted Arkansas emergency physician James Graham. "Arkansas now #3 for number hospitalized w COVID/100K." He said the data "shows definite beginning of a surge. And given that we have a surge of new cases, the surge of hospitalizations is likely to follow."
"A hospital in Springfield, Missouri, ran out of ventilators for its patients over the Fourth of July weekend as the area, right in the middle of a COVID-19 hot spot, deals with a rise in cases," according to the Kansas City Star. "On Monday, Mercy Springfield hospital officials reported that more ventilators had arrived, a second COVID-19 ICU unit was opened and that more respiratory therapists are needed to help the 'tired' ones working now. Situations like that, public health officials say, are avoidable if people would get vaccinated."
"At Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Wyoming, health workers didn't need genomic sequencing to tell them the highly contagious Delta variant had arrived. Younger patients started coming in about two months ago with symptoms of Covid-19," according to the Wall Street Journal. "Many progressed from mild illness to respiratory distress more quickly than patients treated earlier in the pandemic, said Sodienye Tetenta, a critical-care physician at the hospital. Nearly all were unvaccinated." "We could see that this was not the Covid of last year," Dr. Tetenta said.
Virus Expert Says He Would Wear a Mask in These States
"If you're in a low-infection, high-vaccination area, you don't need to be wearing a mask indoors if you're fully vaccinated," Jha told CNN. "If I were in southwest Missouri right now, I'm fully vaccinated but I would be wearing a mask indoors." Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, agreed. "I think there would be a good reason to do that. As we've said so often that vaccines, as good as they are, and highly effective—nothing is 100%. And if you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say, when I'm in that area where there's a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough, to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection. Even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective."
How to Stay Safe Out There
So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, 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, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.