Virus Expert Warns These States of COVID Spikes
The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, and that's clear from the surging cases counts in certain states. There, younger, unvaccinated people are catching COVID—and too many are getting sick from it. Dr. Payal Patel, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Michigan medical school, spoke with CBSN's Elaine Quijano about which states are in danger. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss this urgent news: Here's How You Can Catch COVID Even If You're Vaccinated.
Michigan is Having "A Lot of Cases," Leading the Nation
"We're having a lot of cases here in Michigan," said Dr. Patel. "It's really leading the states that are of concern right now." "What is different about this time, compared with previous times, is that it is a lot of young people—because the first people that got vaccinated were people over the age of 75, health care workers [and later] people over the age of 65," Benjamin Stix, an anesthesia critical care medicine fellow at the University of Michigan, tells Scientific American. "There's this gap that's going on right now where there's a huge portion of the population that's not vaccinated, and they range in age from children through people in their 50s and 60s. We were getting calls about people in their 30s, in their 40s, in their 50s who had COVID, all of a sudden, really badly."
Florida Has a COVID Variant Problem
Dr. Patel is concerned about Florida. "New coronavirus cases increased 5.3% in Florida in the latest week ending Sunday as the state added 44,668 cases. The previous week had 42,407 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19," reports the Tallahassee Democrat. "Florida ranked 10th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week, the United States added 472,154 reported cases of coronavirus, a decrease of 3.4% from the week before. Across the country, 21 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before."
Rhode Island Still Has Too Many Cases
Dr. Patel mentioned Rhode Island. "The Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday reported four coronavirus-related deaths and an additional 817 cases of COVID-19 over the last three days," according to the Providence Journal. "Of the 817 additional cases, 758 were people who tested positive for the first time on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and 59 were people who tested positive for the first time on previous days. That brings the total toll in the state to 2,651 deaths and 144,966 known cases."
There is Actually Danger Everywhere if You Are Unvaccinated
"Really, I would consider yourself still at risk if you're in any state and are still un-vaccinated," said Dr. Patel. "Those are the populations in each state that are really making up the majority of cases that are coming into the hospital and getting really, really sick."
So When Will We Be Back to Normal?
When will we be back to normal? "You know, it's really up to us," said Dr. Patel. "It's up to how many people will get vaccinated and how quickly that rollout can happen. I think that the researchers who came up with these absolutely very effective vaccines, worked their tail off to give us multiple choices…..And now we're at a point where we need to talk to our friends, our family, our neighbors ask them, what is it that's stopping you perhaps from getting the vaccine? I think the quicker that we can get more people to get the vaccine, we would be able to come out of what we're in right now, which is seeing the variants of COVID really spread like wildfire in those that have not been vaccinated." So 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.