Health

COVID cases falling, but trouble signs arise as winter looms

In this Oct. 7, 2021, file photo, Sarah Staffiere adjusts a face covering on her daughter, Natalie, before school in Waterville, Maine. Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in. Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in.

The number of new cases nationally has been plummeting since the delta surge peaked in mid-September. The U.S. is averaging about 73,000 new cases per day, less than half of the nearly 173,000 recorded on Sept. 13. And the number of Americans in the hospital with COVID-19 has plummeted by about half to around 47,000 since early September.

In Florida, Miami-Dade County’s mask mandate could be loosened by the end of October if the encouraging numbers continue. A high school outside Boston became the first in Massachusetts to make masks optional after it hit a state vaccination threshold. With about 95% of eligible people at Hopkinton High inoculated, school leaders voted to allow vaccinated students and staff to go maskless for a three-week trial period starting Nov. 1.

Still, there are some troubling indicators, including the onset of cold weather, which sends people indoors, where the virus can more easily spread.

With required mask use reduced in much of the U.S., the University of Washington’s influential COVID-19 forecasting model is predicting increasing infections and hospitalizations in November.

COVID cases falling, but trouble signs arise as winter looms
In this Aug. 23, 2021, file photo, a student listens to the teacher’s instructions at iPrep Academy on the first day of school in Miami. Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in. Credit: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

Also, COVID-19 deaths per day have begun to creep back up again after a decline that started in late September. Deaths are running at about 1,700 per day, up from close to 1,500 two weeks ago.

In sparsely populated Wyoming, which has one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates, hospitals are coping with more patients than at any other point in the pandemic.

“It’s like a war zone,” public health officer Dr. Mark Dowell told a county health board about the situation at Wyoming Medical Center, the Casper Star Tribune reported. “The ICU is overrun.”

The vast majority of hospitalized patients in Wyoming haven’t gotten the vaccine, the state’s vaccination rate is only about 43%. Only West Virginia ranks lower.

In rural Minnesota, a man waited two days for an intensive care bed and later died. Bob Cameron, 87, had gone to to his hometown hospital in Hallock with severe gastrointestinal bleeding and COVID-19. Officials searched for space in a larger center.

COVID cases falling, but trouble signs arise as winter looms
In this Oct. 25, 2021, file photo, registered Nurse Carisa Vincent, and Hope Rose Kelly prepare pool tests for COVID-19 behind a mountain of supplies at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield, Mass. Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in. Credit: Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP, File

The bleeding exhausted the hospital‘s blood supply, and state troopers drove 130 miles (209 kilometers) with new units, but his condition worsened after surgery and he died Oct. 13, t he Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

“We can’t say for certain, of course, that if he got to an ICU bed sooner that he would have survived, but we just feel in our hearts that he would have,” said Cameron’s granddaughter, Janna Curry.

During a three-week stretch this month, rural hospitals in Minnesota were caring for more COVID-19 patients than those in the state’s major urban center, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The strain on hospitals in Colorado forced a second county to reinstitute an indoor mask mandate last week, the Denver Post reported. Nearly 80% of COVID-19 patients in Colorado hospitals are unvaccinated.


Arkansas reports new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations


© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
COVID cases falling, but trouble signs arise as winter looms (2021, October 25)
retrieved 25 October 2021
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-covid-cases-falling-winter-looms.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.



Most Related Links :
todayuknews Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button
Native News Post