As the number of Covid-19 cases rises throughout the United States, especially among the unvaccinated, hospitals are struggling to keep up with the flow of patients, with five states running out of ICU beds.
As cases have rebounded, hospitals throughout the country have been overburdened, but the South, where immunizations have lagged, has been especially hard affected. Oxygen shortages have been reported at several hospitals. On Monday, a vaccine advisor from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented statistics showing that the unprotected population had a 16-fold higher hospitalization rate than the vaccinated.
Hospitals In Five States Have Fewer Than 10% Of Their ICU Beds Remaining
In a statement by Andy Beshear, low immunization rates impact Kentucky, where hospitals are seeing record numbers of Covid-19 patients, and 58 of the state’s 96 hospitals are experiencing severe staffing shortages,
Health officials are especially worried about how cases may develop once the school year begins, and thousands of children have already returned to quarantine in several areas.
According to a CNN investigation, at least 21,869 children and 4,481 staff in Florida’s 15 biggest school districts have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the school year.
Due to the possibility of exposure to Covid-19, at least 45,024 pupils and staff personnel have been quarantined or placed on stay-home orders. Since CNN’s latest report on Thursday afternoon, the number had risen by 62%.
In Texas, more than 3,000 children have been quarantined in the Fort Worth Independent School District following close contact with people who tested positive for Covid-19 during the first two weeks of school.
Despite continuing legal fights in the state against Gov. Greg Abbott‘s prohibition on such requirements, the district issued a mask mandate for all students, staff, and visitors earlier this month.
Vaccines are presently the greatest way to prevent the virus from spreading, but they have not yet been authorized for children under 12.
Even children who are qualified for protection may not always get the full advantages. Children aged 12 to 15 are eligible, but according to CDC statistics released Monday, fewer than half of that age group has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The biggest school system in Virginia is one of the first to require vaccinations for some of its pupils. According to a letter from the superintendent, athletes in Fairfax County Public Schools will be required to get vaccinated to participate in winter and spring sports.
In a letter issued by Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand, any other activity that needs a physical will also require proof of complete COVID-19 immunization.
While the possibility of unvaccinated children getting sick at school is concerning, recent research suggests that masking and testing may help avoid illnesses in at least half of that group.
According to projections modeled by researchers from North Carolina State University and published as a preprint earlier this month, less than half of susceptible students — and possibly as few as a quarter — may become infected with Covid-19 in the same timeframe with universal mask use, depending on the student body’s incoming level of protection from vaccinations or natural immunity.