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[WATCH] Hospitals at Capacity In States with High Unvaccinated Rates

Daily COVID-19 cases continue rising in the United States as hospitals in the South deal with an influx of patients. While the U.S. now has the biggest two-day vaccine surge in over a month, states are still setting records for hospitalizations, overwhelming already exhausted medical staff and resources.

As of Saturday, the US has averaged about 129,000 daily new cases over the last 7 days, a number that has risen every day since July 5, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country last averaged over 200,000 cases per day in January, before the Covid-19 vaccines were widely available.

 

COVID vaccine distirbution
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

Because older people have much higher vaccination rates – over 90% of people 65 and older have had at least one shot – this surge has particularly hit younger populations. The rate of new hospitalizations among people in their 30s increased by nearly 300% over the past month, according to an analysis of data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Covid-19 hospital admissions among people in their 30s are now the highest since the pandemic began, according to the data.

Health experts say the solution is to vaccinate as many people as possible, because the vaccines provide good protection against severe disease. As of Sunday, 50.6% of the total US population was fully vaccinated. That’s 59.2% of those eligible to receive a vaccination, CDC data shows.

Unvaccinated populations in Red states are to blame for the rise in cases in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Arkansas set a record for hospitalizations, while officials in one Florida county are urging residents to “consider other options” before calling 911. Health officials in Mississippi said the state’s hospital system could collapse in five to 10 days if the current trajectory continues. Officials in Brevard County, on Florida’s east coast, are urging residents to “consider other options before taxing ambulance services with non-emergency calls and showing up at the ER for a COVID test when other test sites are available,” according to its emergency management office. And yet Governor Ron DeSantis continues to push anti-mask propaganda while insisting schools reopen without any mandates or protocols in place.

In Blue states, where vaccine rates are higher, steps are being taken to ensure safety protocols are being enforced. California just became the first state to require all teachers and staff in K-12 public and private schools to get vaccinated or undergo weekly coronavirus testing. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the move is intended to reassure parents and motivate people to get vaccinated. Schools have until October 15th to show that all employees are immunized or begin regular testing.

With different rules and regulations in place in every state, the fight to control COVID-19 looks a little different depending on where you live. You can find a state-by-state breakdown on the latest case numbers and vaccination rates here.



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