New data suggests that the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations are increasing in 37 of the 50 states in United States. This news comes as the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci explained that we are still not “on the road” to end the pandemic.
The rate of coronavirus hospitalizations help scientist gauge the severity of the current pandemic in any given area at any time.
The latest CDC #COVIDView report shows the percentage of deaths attributed to #COVID19 has declined since early September. However, some other indicators, like the percentage of people testing positive for the disease, have increased or remained stable: https://t.co/zP4VYlo0Pb. pic.twitter.com/eSS4FGPRGD
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 19, 2020
The number of hospitalizations was increasing by 5 percent in these states according to the data from the Covid Tracking Project. The numbers are based on weekly averages rather than the daily count.
Data shows that states like West Virginia, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Montana, Nebraska, Kentucky, Iowa, and Alaska have all hit record highs in number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19. Hawaii and District of Columbia are the only two places where this rate is actually declining.
In state of Wisconsin, 10.9 percent of beds have COVID-19 patients whereas in Texas 6.71 percent of hospital beds have been taken up by coronavirus patients. This number is also climbing.
Many experts are warning that this is clearly a second wave in the Northern Hemisphere and more stringent public health policies are needed to curb the spread of the virus.
During the previous week, US has reported 56,000 new cases per day. This is more than 13 percent increase than the week before. This is much higher than the 30,000 cases that were being reported in early September but still lower the highest number of cases in a day at roughly 70,000.
U.S. #COVID19 cases continue to increase, with 359,835 new cases reported in the last week. Take steps to prepare for an outbreak in your community. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay 6 feet apart. Learn more: https://t.co/1nMYQAjpSq pic.twitter.com/XkpJ5NGhl7
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 14, 2020
Infectious disease Experts have also been warning that the cooler weather fast approaching at the end of year can further increase these numbers. It can be due to the fact that in cooler weather people stay indoors, increasing the chances of spread of the virus. Same has been seen with the flu. As winter approaches, the number of flu cases increase in the country.
Reducing the spread of flu this fall and winter is more important than ever, and getting a flu vaccine is the best protection from flu. Learn more in this edition of Did You Know? https://t.co/jOXNmNg6yw pic.twitter.com/iwD13YwaZI
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 18, 2020
The former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, explained that the challenges are yet far from being over.
“We’re going to get through it. We’re probably in the 7th inning of the acute phase of this pandemic right now, but the hardest part is probably ahead”.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued new guidelines which has asked all the passengers travelling on public transport to use masks to prevent further spread of the virus. The guidelines also include the workers part of the public transport system of trains and buses.
The health agency warned that travelling in close quarters as those of public transport, especially when social distancing is not possible can increase the spread of the virus.
“Given how interconnected most transportation systems are across the nation and the world, local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected persons travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks,” says the new guidance.
The new guidance comes after the White House blocked the CDC from mandating the use of masks on public transport. If it had been approved, the step would have been the strictest measure against the pandemic this administration would have taken.
The guideline has however made a few exemptions when it comes to the use of the masks. The use of the masks is only recommended and not mandatory. Children under the age of 2 and people with doctor notes that say that mask wearing can be dangerous for them are exempted from this recommendation.
Majority of experts agree that use of face masks and social distancing are the most effective measures against the virus that one can take right now.