In the United States, Covid-19 hospitalizations are on the rise once again.
Of the more than 30 states that have seen an increase in Covid-19 hospitals in the last two weeks, six stand out.
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois accounted for most of the nation’s increase in hospital beds, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
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The analysis showed that these states account for 35 per cent of the population with rising Covid hospitalizations, but they make up 60 per cent of the extra beds.
The nationwide increase began in early November, when the US averaged about 45,000 hospitalizations per day. According to the analysis, it has since ticked to around 58,000 per day. Health experts say they fear hospitalizations could continue this winter as more Americans stay indoors and the rapidly growing delta variant continues to spread.
Since HHS began tracking Covid hospitalizations in early 2020, the US has crossed the 50,000 mark five times. Delta’s first hospitalizations this summer averaged more than 100,000 hospitalizations, and last winter’s increase averaged more than 137,000 hospitalizations.
While much of the world is focused on the new Omicron variant, which was first identified in South Africa, Delta is still a threat, as “more than 99 percent of sequenced cases in the United States still persist”, Dr. Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday at the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing.
hospitalized in Michigan The number of new hospitalizations is the highest when adjusted for population, up 70 percent since November 10. In the neighboring states of Indiana and Illinois, the number of hospitalizations has nearly doubled.
In Michigan, 3 out of 4 COVID patients have not been vaccinated, according to Chelsea Wuth, an associate public information officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The unvaccinated people are 87 per cent Covid patients who are in an intensive care unit in the state, he said, and 88 per cent Covid patients who are on ventilators are asymptomatic. He said that more than 70 percent of Michigan people aged 16 and older have received at least one shot of the COVID vaccine.
Dr. Matthew Sims, a physician and director of infectious disease research at Beaumont Health, the state’s largest health care system, said “almost all” coming in are COVID patients who have not been vaccinated.
As of Tuesday, around 600 patients are sick with Covid in the entire system, he said, adding that the staff has been exhausted.
“We’ve been doing this for so long,” he said. “It exhausts the nurses, the doctors, everybody when we see such a large number of patients coming in who are not vaccinated at all.”
He said that the systems network of hospitals and outpatient sites is ready for the expected increase in patients this winter; They have amassed enough personal protective equipment and made COVID vaccination mandatory for the entire staff.
Experts say it is still unclear whether the heavily mutated Omicron variant will exacerbate the condition seen in hospitals during the colder months, although early reports suggest the new strain may cause mild symptoms.
Sims said he is concerned about Omicron “and whether it is going to take over and make things worse.” That some 50 mutations are “scary,” he said, but he added that scientists and the public still need to wait for more data.
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In Ohio, with the second largest share of new hospitalizations, health officials warned last week that the state was approaching the record admissions seen in January, when nearly 4,000 patients with Covid were hospitalized across the state.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said during a news conference that cases are not occurring equally across age groups.
He said the case rate among young people, especially those aged 23 to 49, is 25 per cent higher than the statewide average.
As in Michigan, the vast majority of hospitalized patients in Ohio are unvaccinated, Vanderhoff said.
State officials keep urging people to get vaccinated. Doing so will help the state hospitals as they are facing staffing challenges.
“Almost every hospital doesn’t really have the elasticity that we probably had last year, when there is a flood or surge in local patients, with capacity on short-term notice,” said Dr. Andy Thomas, with Wexner from The Ohio State University. to expand.” Medical Center, said at the same briefing. “If these trends continue through the month of December through January, we will be at a point where hospitals in Ohio will no longer be able to care for all the patients we need to care for.”
Last week, in New York state, which accounts for the fifth largest share of new hospitalizations, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that hospitals with less than 10 percent capacity must stop performing elective surgery by at least January 15, 2022. .
Hochul said during a press conference last Thursday that there are about 50 hospitals that meet that criteria, most of which are upstate.
Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health in New York City, said people may be exhausted as the country approaches two years into the pandemic.
People “think in terms of individual action, individual responsibility, individual liberty, and unfortunately that is not how viruses are transmitted and transmitted,” she said.
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