Delta variant and vaccine reluctance increase hospital stays and deaths

– The average number of new Covid-19 cases per day was 32,278 over the past week. That is an increase of 66% compared to the average daily rate of the previous week and 145% more than the rate of two weeks ago.

– An average of 258 Americans died from Covid-19 every day for the past week – 13% more than the previous week.

– And 24,923 people are being hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the U.S. Department of Health. That is 26% more than last week and 50% more than two weeks ago.

There’s a common theme behind the worsening Covid-19 numbers, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“This is becoming a pandemic for the unvaccinated,” Walensky said at a Covid-19 briefing on Friday.

More than 97% of people who are now hospitalized with Covid-19 are unvaccinated, Walensky said.

And 99.5% of the deaths are among the unvaccinated, said US surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy on Sunday.

Getting people vaccinated as soon as possible “is our fastest and most effective way out of this pandemic,” Murthy said.

California reports highest Covid-19 test positivity rate since winter surge

The surge in new cases in California – mainly driven by the highly contagious Delta variant – continues to rise and is now reaching a level not seen since February, when new cases declined after a huge winter surge.

More than 14,000 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 3,762,462. The California Department of Health no longer reports new data on weekends, so Monday’s number reflects the cases reported on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The state’s test positive rate has increased nearly 500% since early June, climbing to 4.1% on Monday. That rate is the highest the state has seen since Feb. 17, state data show, a significant increase from its lowest point of 0.7% on June 7, just before the nationwide reopening.

“This is a pandemic that is overwhelming and disproportionate to those who have not been vaccinated,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday.

The state is making efforts to focus its vaccination campaign on small mobile clinics and additional contact with unvaccinated subgroups, Newsom said.

These include people without shelter living in rural communities and those he says have been misled by misinformation.

About half the state’s population is again subject to mask mandates and recommendations, with four other counties in central and northern California – Napa, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey – issuing mask recommendations on Monday.

Hospitals will “have real problems” at this rate

At the University of Florida Health Jacksonville, doctors are now seeing a bigger surge in Covid-19 patients than they did during the surge in January, said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention.

“We have doubled our number of Covid hospital admissions in the past week, and the number of patients is much more exponential than it was in January,” said Neilsen on Monday.

“My biggest fear is that patients will continue to flock and that we will not be able to provide them with the care they need because we have no staff or resources.”

On Monday, Neilsen said the hospital had enough beds and supplies.

“But staffing shortages are starting to really affect not only us, but the rest of the hospital community here in Jacksonville,” he said. “If we don’t have staff to take care of patients, we will have real problems.”

A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences official also expressed concern about the future of patient care if the rapid rise in Covid-19 patients does not slow.

On Thursday, Chancellor Cam Patterson said during a Twitter Q&A that hospitals are “full right now and cases are doubling every 10 days”.

“If this trend continues, there will be significant challenges in caring for both Covid and non-Covid patients over the next two weeks,” Patterson said.

Pediatricians: Everyone over 2 years of age should wear masks in school

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended universal masking in schools for anyone over 2 years of age, regardless of vaccination status, unless a medical or developmental illness prohibits wearing a mask.

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal masking in schools for people over 2
The AAP cited several reasons, including the fact that children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for a vaccination.

“There are many children and others who cannot be vaccinated,” said Dr. Sara Bode, elected Chair of the AAP Council on School Health Executive Committee.

“That’s why it’s important to use every tool in our toolkit to help protect children from COVID-19. Universal masking is one of those tools and has also been shown to be effective in protecting people from other respiratory diseases. It’s also the most effective strategy for creating consistent messages and expectations among students without having to monitor everyone’s vaccination status. “

At least nine states – Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Vermont – have passed laws banning counties from requiring masks in schools, according to a CNN analysis. All nine states have Republican governors.

Some states – including Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, and Washington – follow AAP guidelines to require masks for K-12 students regardless of their vaccination status.

Why these parents volunteered their young children for Covid-19 vaccine trials

Doctors say a big reason adults should get vaccinated is to protect children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

“Our children who are not vaccinated depend on us to protect them from the spread of the virus. We are their shields, ”said US surgeon general Dr. Vivel Murthy opposite CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday.

“And even if you don’t want to do it yourself, you should get vaccinated to protect the children in your community. They depend on us, ”said Murthy.

Currently, Covid-19 vaccines are only approved for children aged 12 and over, but studies are being conducted to test the safety and effectiveness of vaccinating younger children.

These pediatric studies “are looking good so far, but the final decision rests with the FDA,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“And I imagine that probably won’t happen until winter is well advanced, towards the end of this year.”

Delta variant sends younger people to hospital

The director general of the World Health Organization said the Delta variant was the most contagious strain of coronavirus identified.

In a study published online, scientists examining 62 cases of the delta variant found viral loads about 1,260 times higher than those found in 63 cases from the early epidemic wave in 2020.

The Delta variant also sends younger and previously healthy people to hospitals – the vast majority of whom are not vaccinated, say doctors in several states who are suffering from surges.

“This year’s virus is not last year’s virus,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Covid-19 'becomes a pandemic of the unvaccinated' CDC director says

“It’s attacking our 40-year-olds. It’s attacking our parents and young grandparents. And it’s getting our kids,” O’Neal said. She said her Covid-19 unit now has more patients in their twenties than they did before during the pandemic.

In the face of rampant misinformation about the virus and vaccine, McClure urged people to use trusted sources and “make sure people have good information.”

Misinformation “takes our liberty away,” Murthy said, adding that the inaccurate information inhibits people’s ability to make informed decisions about the health of themselves and their families.

And since the virus disproportionately affects many people who are not vaccinated, the consequences can be severe.

“All of this misinformation that is floating around has a real cost that can be measured in lost lives, and that’s tragic,” Murthy said.

Trump Administration Official: Delta Is Likely To Hit Those Who Are Unprotected

Most Americans who are left unprotected are likely to get the fast-spreading delta variant, said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during the Trump administration.

“And for most people who get this Delta variant, it will be the most serious virus they will get in their life in terms of the risk of being taken to hospital,” Gottlieb told CBS on Sunday “Face the Nation.” “.

Delta is the most commonly transmitted variant of Covid-19 to date, said Murthy and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

The Delta variant is so contagious that those left unprotected are likely to get it, says an FDA chief of the Trump administration

“This is a virus that has now shown us that it has a very strong ability to spread from person to person more efficiently than the previous prototype viruses we have seen,” Fauci said on Monday.

Fauci said people who were vaccinated are still “very well protected – 90% or more – from hospital admissions, serious illness and death, and that this has” kept it strong no matter where the study is – in the United States “. States or in several foreign countries. “

“Although you are dealing with a virus that causes more infections, including breakthrough infections in people who have been vaccinated, because of this extreme ability to spread from person to person, it is still doing very well for serious illnesses in those who are vaccinated.” he said.

“Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about unvaccinated people … we can expect deaths among unvaccinated hospital admissions and eventually in some situations.”

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, Naomi Thomas, Leyla Santiago, Claudia Dominguez, Ben Tinker and Natasha Chen contributed to this report.

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