Michael Osterholm, a virus expert and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, has said that some states in the U.S. are still having an upward trend and reporting high levels of COVID-19 cases.
The expert made the comments in his latest podcast. Although cases are already decreasing in states like Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Arkansas, and Missouri, which is according to Osterholm is good news, some states must expect another surge of the virus, he said.
The states that, according to Osterholm, could face the next COVID-19 surge are:
Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday that younger Kentuckians are dying more often from the virus since the state’s supply of ICU beds decreased below 100 for the third time since the pandemic started, Kentucky.com said in a report.
“The percentage of Kentuckians dying from COVID-19 who are 30 to 49 years old has increased fivefold since May, with that age group accounting for 11 percent of deaths since June, Beshear said. The Democratic governor reported that Kentucky “only has 93 adult ICU beds available and 66 of the 96 acute care hospitals in the state have critical staffing shortages.”
- SOUTH CAROLINA
“Less than a week after Gov. Henry McMaster and state health officials touted the effectiveness — and availability — of monoclonal antibodies for treating COVID-19, South Carolina is facing a shortage of the promising therapy,” reported the State.
The report also said that the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said that federal officials informed the department that South Carolina would get only about a third of 13, 000 monoclonal antibody doses that providers ordered for the coming week due to a national shortage of the drug.
“As a result, DHEC will be forced to ration monoclonal antibody doses, which are used to treat patients with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 before their disease progresses, much like the agency did with vaccines when their supply was limited.”
- WEST VIRGINIA
According to a report by WCHS, COVID-19 patients in the state surpassed 900 on Friday. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported that 922 COVID patients are hospitalized, of which 277 are in ICU while 169 are on ventilators.
“Health officials also reported 2,320 new positive cases and 57 additional deaths. Active cases were at 29,744, which is the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic. the previous record – 29,257 – was met in January 2021. The state’s COVID death toll is now 3,370.”
“Tennessee leads the nation in new COVID-19 cases per capita, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found,” CBS reported.
The report also stated that according to data collected by the New York Times in the last week, Tennessee has seen over 8, 300 average new COVID-19 cases daily. Health experts also believe that the increasing number of daily cases is linked to a low vaccination rate, especially among children.
Texas Tribune reported that according to doctors, there is no reason for the low vaccination rate in the state, but vaccine hesitancy and misinformation have caused this.
“Recently, pregnant patients with COVID-19 have come into Texas hospitals at levels not seen earlier in the pandemic, according to some doctors, illustrating the severity and contagiousness of the delta variant amid the state’s most recent COVID-19 surge,” the report added.
- WEST MONTANA
“The surge of COVID-19 cases is leading to rationed health care at a Helena-area hospital. Hospitals around the region say they are hitting capacity,” reported Montana Public Radio.
The announcement was made by Dr. Shelly Harkins, president and chief medical officer of Helena’s Saint Peter’s Health on Thursday. “For the first time in my career, we are at the point where not every patient in need will get the care we might wish we could give.”
According to AP, Idaho public health leaders expanded health care rationing statewide Thursday and individual health systems in Alaska and Montana have passed the same crisis standards due to the increase of COVID-19 patients – who are not yet vaccinated – and needing hospitalization.
“The decisions marked an escalation of the pandemic in several Western states struggling to convince skeptical people to get vaccinated.”
In reports by oil City News, the state’s department of health reported that additional 583 COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Thursday. The new cases brought the total confirmed cases in Wyoming to 68, 174, since the start of the pandemic.
“There are 3,081 active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wyoming, 188 more than there were on Wednesday. The state has been adding an average of 352.6 new confirmed cases per day over the past 14 days.”
- THE MIDWEST
Osterholm cautioned the spread of the virus in the Midwest, the Dakotas, Ohio, Indiana, even to some degree Minnesota.
“So right now we’re really more or less in a holding pattern until we can get more people vaccinated. This virus is going to keep being transmitted. It may very well come down to a new baseline, which could be much higher than what it is,” Osterholm added.