Coronavirus News Update – Aug. 22: Gulf Coast Hospitals Overwhelmed by Covid Cases, Leaving Region With No Open ICU Beds

By Paul Riegler on 22 August 2021
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Students on campus, known as the grounds, of the University of Virginia

The Gulf Coast in the United States, an area that encompasses a shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico, now has no ICU beds available after being overwhelmed by Covid cases.  The average hospitalization rate in coastal cities such as Mobile, Alabama; Gulfport Mississippi; and Panama City, Florida; is considerably higher than their states’ as a whole.

The average patient is less frequently an elderly, at-risk individual but younger people who are not vaccinated against the virus.

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 212.4 million Covid-19 cases and over 4.4 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 189.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 151,227, a 39% change and a trend that is fueled by the highly contagious India, or Delta, variant.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,007.

Since the start of the pandemic the United States has recorded 38.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country and one that is followed by India, which now has over 32.4 million officially recorded cases and 434,697officially recorded deaths, although experts believe that both number are in reality significantly higher.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year over 4.91 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Sunday morning, an increase of 0.03 billion over the past 24 hours and the equivalent of over 64 doses for every 100 people, which is virtually unchanged over the previous 24 hours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Sunday, 200.9 million people in the United States – or 60.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 51.3%, or 170.4 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 361.7 million. Breaking this down further, 72.9% of the population over the age of 18 – or 188.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 62.3% of the same group – or 160.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Phil Valentine, a Nashville-based conservative radio talk show host who vehemently questioned the need for all people to get vaccinated, died Saturday after a battle with Covid-19.  Valentine was 61.  In December, he said on his program that he believed his personal odds of dying from Covid-19 were “probably way less than one percent.”  In July, he told his listens through his brother Mark Valentine that he regretted not being more “Pro-Vaccine,” and that he would vigorously advocate that position once he returned to the air.

Jesse Jackson, the civil rights advocate, has been hospitalized for the coronavirus.  Jackson, who has Parkinson’s Disease, was immunized in January and has been traveling around the country urging black Americans to get vaccinated.  “Vaccination is imperative to save lives, particularly for African Americans, disproportionately the greatest victims of the virus,” he said earlier this year.

Officials in South Florida said that at least five police officers there died from Covid over the weekend amidst the surge in cases there. The state is among the top three in total Covid cases in the United States and recently surpassed 3 million total infections as a summer surge continues.

Meanwhile, officials at the University of Virginia said that it had disenrolled 238 students for non-compliance with the university’s vaccine mandate.  Some of the students had not been expected to return to campus anyway, but many simply didn’t comply with the directive.

Finally, Apple said it has delayed plans for employees to return to their offices following the surge in coronavirus cases.  An e-mail sent to workers over the past week said they will be given a month’s notice before they have to return. The policy does not impact Apple stores.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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