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The COVID-19 pandemic has recently taken a turn for the worst. It is now being reported that Intensive care units (ICU) are near full capacity and cases are higher in August 2021 than in May. Although people are aware this is due to low vaccination rates, lack of enforcement of public health guidelines, and the emergence of several new COVID-19 variants, most of the public continues to live life as normal. As a result, hospitals across the U.S. are overwhelmed with cases.
Hospitals only have 329 of 8,283 hospital beds left for over 30 million people in states like Texas. Currently, ICU beds are being filled with unvaccinated people, and because children are unable to get vaccinated, patients under 12 have become the majority of COVID-19 cases.
Cases in this age group have tripled, according to hospitals. In Florida, all hospitals in one county are filled to capacity with children — mostly 10-to-18-year-olds.
COVID-19 Vaccine And Booster Shots
Furthermore, the CDC panel is meeting on August 12 to discuss booster shots due to the surge in cases. The booster shots, if approved, could protect over ten million immunocompromised Americans; however, the U.S. government is evaluating how booster shots could help.
Fortunately, more people are starting to get vaccinated. In fact, over 503,000 were vaccinated on a seven-day average; still, some states like Kentucky are reissuing their mask mandates to lower the risk of infection. In addition, more state government officials are taking action and issuing mandates to keep people safe as the pandemic continues.
Written by Reginae Echols
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
USAToday: ICUs around the nation reach capacity; US adds more cases in first days of August than in all of May: Latest COVID-19 updates; by Jorge L. Ortiz and N’dea Yancey-Bragg
Featured Image Courtesy of Tim Dennells Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of FWWSON’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License