Covid US: Five states will bear the brunt of the Indian Delta variant in the coming weeks as the number of cases increases
In five US states that are currently experiencing a large increase in COVID-19 cases, deaths could also rise in the coming weeks.
Nationally, cases have increased by nearly 30 percent as the Indian ‘Delta’ variety continues to spread, with most concentrations in the south and west of the mountains.
In Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada, the number of infections from the virus has risen by as much as 98 percent in the past 14 days, and the number of hospitalizations is also rising.
But a doctor told CNN that he predicts states will also suffer a “surprising number of deaths” in the near future, as fatalities tend to be a lagging indicator.
In Missouri, the current US epicenter, the seven-day average of cases has risen from 822 a day two weeks ago to 1,631, a 98% increase
In Arkansas, the number of new coronavirus cases has risen 47% in the past two weeks from an average of 402 cases per day to 591 per day
“In places like Missouri, where ICUs are full, you’re going to see a surprising amount of deaths,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Science, told CNN on Sunday.
Missouri remains the country’s COVID-19 epicenter, with cases and hospitalizations continuing to rise.
Mercy Health Springfield, the largest hospital in southwest Missouri, was overwhelmed last week after a major wave of cases.
At one point, the hospital ran out of ventilators this weekend.
Reiner told CNN that spikes in COVID-19 cases usually lead to a rise in the death rate three to four weeks later.
“We’re going to see an increase in mortality in this country,” he said.
CoxHealth Springfield, another hospital in the area, even had to transfer patients elsewhere to accommodate a surge at their hospital.
The federal government has offered aid to Springfield, Sending a COVID-19 peak team to the region to assist the hospitals there.
The Delta variant – a highly contagious strain of the virus that originated in India – is largely responsible for the wave action.
The number of new cases in Missouri rose from an average of 822 a day two weeks ago to 1,631 on Sunday, a 98 percent increase, according to a Johns Hopkins analysis by DailyMail.com.
An estimated 97 percent of active cases are in the state of the Delta variant.
In Arkansas — another state ravaged by the variant — data from Johns Hopkins shows that the number of new cases has increased by 47 percent from an average of 402 reported per day to 591 per day
More than 70 percent of active cases in Arkansas are of the Delta variant.
After months of declining trend despite minor restrictions, Florida COVID cases have doubled in the past month
Florida, a state that previously defied the odds by maintaining relatively low cases despite limited COVID restrictions, also appears to be on the brink of an outbreak.
The number of cases has more than doubled in the past month, from 1,636 on June 11 to 3,392 on July 11 – a 107 percent increase.
Louisiana (92 percent increase over the past month) and Nevada (89 percent) have also experienced recent increases in the number of cases.
Louisiana suffers a spate of COVID cases as much of their population is unvaccinated
Nevada’s COVID situation has worsened in the past month, with cases doubling daily
However, some states are better equipped to handle potential COVID-19 spikes than others.
In Nevada and Florida, more than half of their populations are both at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
While they’re nowhere near herd immunity — with only 51 percent and 54 percent of vaccinated populations, respectively — controlling the statewide spikes is easier because so many people have some defenses against the virus.
Louisiana, on the other hand, struggled with its vaccine rollout, with only 39 percent having received at least one dose of a vaccine — the second lowest of any state.
Missouri, with 46 percent of the population at least partially vaccinated, and Arkansas with 43 percent also have low vaccination rates.
Because the country still has a large stock of vaccines, health officials still recommend anyone who can get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves against the virus.
Reiner said nearly all COVID-19 deaths are “completely avoidable” now that vaccines are common and readily available.”
The vaccines we have work very well against this variant. It doesn’t have to be that way,” he told CNN.
In May, 99 percent of COVID-19 deaths in America were among those vaccinated.
Mercy Health — which includes Mercy Springfield in its hospital system — recently instituted a vaccine mandate for employees to counter the wave of cases in the state that are affecting their workforce.
Health officials have warned that as the Delta strain spreads, portions of unvaccinated Americans across the country will experience serious increases in cases, while areas with high vaccine rates will be little affected.
Nationally, cases and deaths are still much lower now than during huge peaks in the summer of 2020 and during the last holiday season, although they are ticking up.
In the past month, the number of new daily cases across the country jumped from 14,788 to 19,032 – a 28 percent increase.