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US sees new high of COVID-19 cases

The Delta variant has swept through the United States straining hospital resources.


Nepalnews
2021 Aug 29, 12:55, NEW YORK

Intensive care units (ICU) at hospitals are reaching their capacity in more states, and more mandates of vaccine and mask are being placed across the United States, as the COVID-19 pandemic claimed new highs of confirmed cases and fatality toward the weekend.

On Friday, the country reported 155,365 new cases of daily coronavirus, with the 14-day change seeing a 21 percent rise. The daily hospitalizations stood at 98,337, with the 14-day change a 28 percent increase. The daily death toll was 1,266, with the 14-day change a starling 95 percent hike, The New York Times (NYT) updated on Saturday.

MANDATES AND REQUIREMENTS

New York State has ordered all students, staff and visitors inside school buildings to wear masks, a mandate that will not just apply to public school districts but also to private, charter and religious schools throughout the Empire State.

The policy was filed in an emergency regulation Friday night, out of the government's fear that the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant might spread as students head back to school.

New York City already had a mask mandate in place for city schools in advance of the first day on Sept. 13. Mayor Bill de Blasio has also ordered all Department of Education staff to get vaccinated by Sept. 27.

Liberty University is enacting a campus-wide quarantine after reporting its highest rate of COVID-19 cases to date, just days after the Virginia-based evangelical college reopened with no mitigation measures.

The university announced late Thursday it would be switching to online classes and banning all large indoor gatherings starting Monday, reported Forbes on Friday.

The shutdown, which will last through Sept. 10, follows a large uptick in the number of coronavirus cases since students made their return to campus in mid-August. The university's COVID-19 dashboard shows the number of active coronavirus cases increased from three on Aug. 15 to 159 as of Wednesday, including 124 among students and 35 among faculty.

As coronavirus cases surge again across the United States, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, some hotels have announced they will require proof of vaccination from guests and staff, according to an NYT report published online on Friday.

Accommodations such as PUBLIC Hotel, Equinox Hotel and Wythe Hotel, all in New York City, Urban Cowboy Lodge in New York State, and Pilgrim House in Provincetown, Massachusetts, are among the first in the United States to announce that they will require evidence of vaccination, via a physical card or a digital verification, from their guests.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry trade group, has issued safety guidelines based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which includes encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

ICU OCCUPIED

Arizona surpassed 1 million COVID-19 cases on Friday, becoming the 13th state in the United States to reach the grim milestone while contending with yet another major spike in infections, according to the CDC's COVID-19 Data Tracker.

"The benchmark is the latest in a tumultuous year and a half where Arizona went from being touted as a pandemic success story to being 'the hot spot of the world' and then being a model again when vaccinations became available." reported the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Now the state, like the rest of the country, is coping with a surge, mostly among the unvaccinated, and in conflicts over mask and vaccine mandates, it added.

Louisiana's hospital system is already straining due to large numbers of COVID-19 patients, and it must now tackle another challenge: Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the majority of the state on Sunday.

Approximately 68 percent of all hospital beds in the state are filled, including 84 percent of all ICU beds, according to The Daily Advertiser's hospital capacity table.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 has swept through the United States, including Louisiana, straining hospital resources, reported Business Insider on Saturday, adding that many hospitals in the state are approaching "major failure" and have already begun delaying non-emergency procedures and patient transfers.

Texas hospitals are also overwhelmed with the latest surge in coronavirus patients. As of Thursday, there were 13,932 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas and only 356 available ICU beds statewide, reported news website Changing America on Friday.

"There are many patients that are not doing well," Shawn Nishi, a doctor and associate professor of critical care medicine at University of Texas Medical Branch's Jennie Sealy Hospital, was quoted as saying. "It's very chaotic, because these patients are very unpredictable. At one moment they look great and the next moment, they're dying."

In Texas, just more than half, or 56.2 percent, of the eligible population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, said the report, adding that on Wednesday, coronavirus hospitalizations across the United States eclipsed 100,000 for the first time since January.

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