Resurgence of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pushes State Hospitals To Capacity

New coronavirus cases set a 41-day record on Sunday, July 19 as the seven-day average of infections in the United States continues to trend upward. More than 3.779 million Americans have tested positive and over 140,000 have died since COVID-19 reached the United States six months ago. Texas, Florida, California, and other sun belt states have been hit especially hard by the resurgence of the coronavirus. “We are having more cases now than we did a week ago, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, four weeks ago. That is very clear. There is no question that we’re having a surge right now” stated Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 31 states have reported more new coronavirus cases last week compared to the previous week. 17 states are experiencing rising death rates since June 1, 2020.

Politics aside, hospitals in surging states are again struggling to keep up with the growing demand for ICU beds, ventilators, testing reagents, personal-protective equipment, and medical supplies. “It’s a breaking point,” explained Carlos Hernandez, Mayor of Hialeah, Florida. Hospitals in Florida experienced 9,363 hospitalizations related to COVID-19 on Sunday. Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration reported 45 hospitals in Florida have no more ICU space available. Of the state’s 6,252 ICU beds, approximately 18% are available. To date, Florida’s total death count is 5,183.

While most coronavirus-related deaths continue to be for patients 65 and older, last week’s 50,000 nation-wide and newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases are about 15 years younger than those tested in the spring reported Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). According to Governor Ron DeSantis, the median age of a Floridian infected with COVID is down to 37 years old. On Sunday, Florida reported more than 12,400 new cases of coronavirus.

At the COVID-19 peak this spring, approximately 30,000 new cases and 2,500 deaths were being reported daily nation-wide. Despite the higher number of recorded coronavirus cases, last week saw about 600 deaths each day. According to Dr. Fauci, the data shows the disease is less fatal for younger people but cautioned, “we may be seeing a delay.” The reported daily deaths could change due to a substantial lag before the data shows a higher death rate.

In California, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is considering another stay-at-home-order after seeing 2,216 people hospitalized on Sunday with COVID-19 related issues. Similar to Florida, more than half of the 2,848 new coronavirus cases reported on Sunday were patients under 41 years old.

Texas reported more than 10,000 new cases for the 4th day in a row. Officials attribute the coronavirus spike to gatherings on the Fourth of July.


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