Just a few Southern states look like turning the nook on the current delta surge as new COVID-19 circumstances decline, however reduction continues to be a great distance off for overburdened hospitals.
Since mid-August, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Mississippi have seen a decline of their seven-day common of recent confirmed COVID-19 circumstances, reporting 14%, 11%, 9% and 21%, respectively, in response to information from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
Louisiana skilled a dramatic drop of 60% since mid-August. Nevertheless, Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane College College of Public Well being and Tropical Drugs, advised it could be partly as a consequence of Hurricane Ida inflicting a synthetic drop.
“Numerous individuals have left. They’ve gone different locations. Most likely a few of them took COVID with them,” Hassig stated.
Nonetheless, going again to Aug. 26, just a few days earlier than Ida landed in Louisiana, circumstances dropped by practically 40%.
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In Texas, new circumstances haven’t declined however do appear to have plateaued. From Aug. 18 to Sept. 1, the typical of recent each day circumstances hovered between 16,000 and 17,000.
“Once we have a look at statewide numbers, it does seem that we’re on the high of this surge now,” stated Dr. David Lakey, chief medical officer of the College of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Affiliation COVID-19 Activity Power. “So, we’re hopeful that the statewide numbers will probably be coming down quickly.”
Complete hospitalizations for COVID-19 have additionally plateaued in a lot of Texas and have begun to say no in different states. However that doesn’t imply hospital employees can breathe a sigh of reduction.
“In south Mississippi and all through the state, we’re in disaster,” April LaFontaine, Gulfport Memorial Hospital’s chief administrative officer, advised Mississippi At this time on Monday. “Our hospital was full earlier than the hurricane, and we’re nonetheless full now.”
COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped in Mississippi, however they fell from record-setting peaks. The state peaked at 1,717 sufferers hospitalized with COVID-19 on Aug. 23, which had fallen to 1,592 on Aug. 31. That’s nonetheless effectively above the earlier report of 1,046 set in January through the winter surge.
In Florida, hospitalizations fell from a peak of over 16,000 in August to simply below 15,000 initially of September. The earlier excessive of about 10,000 occurred through the summer season surge of 2020.
“Our hospitals are nonetheless very full,” stated Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Affiliation. “Mattress availability beforehand dipped all the way down to lower than 5%. I by no means noticed our numbers on a statewide foundation get that low over the past 18 months.”
Mayhew is hopeful if the present fee of decline continues, hospital capability will considerably enhance by the top of September.
In Texas, COVID-19 circumstances and associated hospitalizations have leveled off within the final two weeks however haven’t but declined.
“Once I discuss to our chief medical officers within the [University of Texas System], all of them are extraordinarily busy proper now,” Lakey stated. “And lots of the hospitals have been on diversion. So if a affected person is available in with a coronary heart assault or a stroke and people hospitals are full, they need to discover a totally different hospital to look after these sufferers.”
Hassig is anxious the aftermath of Hurricane Ida might trigger the delta variant to resurge in Louisiana.
“The true concern is that as individuals then return to the realm and the rebuilding and restoration course of begins right here domestically, COVID might be not going to be entrance of thoughts for lots of people,” Hassig stated. “And so a number of the restrictions and steering and all the pieces else is doubtlessly unlikely to be adopted as rigorously.”