Good News, Bad News on COVID From Pandemic Holiday Weekend

News

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Though President Joe Biden missed his goal of having 70% of adult Americans partially vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4, the mark was hit in 19 states and territories, along with the District of Columbia.

The CDC’s newest data says 67.1% of people over 18 have had at least one vaccine dose, with 58.2% fully vaccinated. Biden announced the 70% goal in early May.

The New York Times, citing information from the CDC, said the states and territories with more than 70% of adults partially vaccinated are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, , Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, DC.

Vermont leads the way, with 85.3% of the population having one dose.

The state with the worst vaccination rate is Mississippi, at 46.3%, followed by Louisiana, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Wyoming, and Alabama.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases have gone up in nearly half the states, USA Today reported, citing data from Johns Hopkins University. Health experts think the increases in cases and hospitalizations are being caused by the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Cases more than doubled in Alaska and Arkansas in the last week, and cases went up more than 50% in South Carolina and Kansas, USA Today reported.

More worrisome, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients rose sharply in places with a low vaccination rate.

One of those places is Springfield, MO, where the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients went up 27% over the Fourth of July weekend, The Associated Press reported.

The city’s two hospitals, CoxHealth and Mercy Springfield, were treating 213 COVID-19 patients on Monday, up from 168 on Friday, the AP said. The two hospitals had only 31 COVID-19 patients on May 24.

“After what we’ve seen in the last month, everyone is just holding their breath, especially after a holiday weekend like this, knowing that there were large gatherings,” said Erik Frederick, the chief administrative officer of Mercy Springfield.

The influx of patients was so extreme that Mercy Springfield ran out of ventilators at one point over the weekend and had to borrow some from other hospitals, Frederick said.

The state has had the most new cases per capita in the last 14 days, USA Today said. Only 55.7% of the state’s population had gotten at least one dose of vaccine.

In Mississippi, new COVID-19 cases increased almost 15% in June, with about 95% of those hospitalizations being unvaccinated people, USA Today said.

Sources

The New York Times: “See How Vaccinations Are Going in Your County and State.”

USA Today: “Almost half of US reports rising cases, attributed largely to delta variant surge: Latest COVID-19 updates.”

The Associated Press: “Ventilator shortage as Missouri virus hospitalizations spike.”

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