The United States reported more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths – equating to around 42 fatalities an hour – for the first time since March.
On Tuesday, officials recorded 1,004 deaths with a seven-day rolling average of 710, which is a 159 percent increase over the last month and the highest number seen since April 20.
This brings the death toll from the pandemic to just 623,329 people, the highest number officially reported by any country in the world.
What’s more, the U.S. recorded 128,902 new cases of COVID-19 with a seven-day rolling average of 137,058, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
This represents a 269 percent increase from the seven-day average of 37,056 recorded one month ago, a DailyMail.com analysis of the data finds.
The South remains the epicenter of the latest outbreak, with Florida reporting a record of nearly 26,000 new cases per day last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
Meanwhile, hospitals say they are completely overwhelmed with patients and are struggling to find available beds.
Alabama says it has no intensive care unit (ICU) beds available, states such as Alaska say they have just a handful that are open, and Mississippi is opening its second field hospital in less than week.
On Tuesday, the U.S. recorded more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day for the first time since mid-March, bringing the death toll to 623,329
Cases also rose with 128,902 new cases of the virus reported on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 137,058, a 269% increase from the seven-day average of 37,056 recorded one month ago
The Southern U.S. remains the epicenter of the latest outbreak with rising cases and hospitals reporting that they are running out of beds
Like many other countries, the Indian ‘Delta’ variant has presented a major challenge.
U.S. officials have started to accelerate vaccinations in the face of the renewed threat, with the seven-day average of doses given sitting at 765,000.
That’s the highest figure seen since July 6, when the seven-day average sat at 865,929, CDC data show.
While governments and businesses initially offered incentives such as cash and prizes for getting vaccinated, the surge in cases has caused some companies and states to mandate vaccines if workers want to keep their jobs and not face routine testing.
However, U.S. hospitals continue to flood with new patients as COVID-related hospitalizations have increased by about 70 percent in the past two weeks to 83,693.
The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 is rising across the country and were 1,834 as of Tuesday morning, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
This is a trend health experts attribute to the Delta variant being more likely to infect children than the original K ‘Alpha’ strain.
In Alabama, COVID-19 cases have surged over the last month from 2,353 per day to 3,370 per day, an increase of 43 percent, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Hospitalizations have also surged to 2,723 people, up 172 percent from about 1,000 one month ago, the Alabama Department of Public Health said.
This means Alabama is closely approaching the record of 3,084 patients hospitalized with the virus that was seen during the 2021 winter surge on January 11.
Of the adult patients currently hospitalized, 85 percent are unvaccinated, three percent are partially vaccinated and 12 percent are fully vaccinated, according to state hospital data.
What’s more, there are no more ICU beds available in the entire state.
Dr Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, told WSFA that, on Tuesday, there were 1,557 staffed ICU beds – but 1,568 patients in need of ICU care.
‘We in fact are in a negative 11,’ he said.
‘In the Montgomery area we have eight more patients who are getting ICU care than we have designated ICU beds here. In other parts of the state, we have over 30 patients in hospitals, needing ICU care, who are not in a designated ICU bed.’
COVID-19 hospitalizations have surged in Alabama to 2,723 patients, up 172% from about 1,000 one month ago
Across the state, 132 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, which is more than five times as many as the roughly 20 people hospitalized in early July
On July 27, some 726 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus, which has increase to 1,623 patients – a 99% spike
In Alaska, doctors are reporting a similar situation as doctors face a surge in patients that is putting enormous pressure on the state’s healthcare system.
Across the state, 132 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, which is more than five times as many as the roughly 20 people hospitalized in early July.
Doctors say Alaska’s ICU system is being overwhelmed with too many patients and not enough staff to care for those in the ICU.
One infectious disease specialist told the Anchorage Daily News that he or she saw three patients over the course of a week, which is equivalent to one per day every three days.
‘It’s relentless. There’s no let up,’ Dr Jacque Quantrille, director of critical care nursing at Alaska Native Medical Center, told the newspaper.
‘When you walk in the door and you come to work there is no down time. Cold coffee, cold pizza, barely a lunch break. The level of illness for these patients, we’re seeing them far sicker for far longer. They’re requiring more resources.’
Alaska hospitals in the same least say they have tried to transfer patients to Seattle hospitals, but most have been refused because facilities in Washington state are also full.
Dr Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, told the Anchorage Daily News that she recently transferred five patients to a hospital in Seattle in a week, when typically one patient a month is transferred to Seattle.
‘So, it’s hard. It’s heartbreaking. Every patient that you see, you’re struggling to figure out what resources are available or not available,’ she said.
In Mississippi, a second field hospital opened within days on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus. Pictured: Five intensive care beds, part of the new 32-bed Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital, are set up in one of the parking garages at UMMC
Meanwhile, in Mississippi, a second field hospital opened within days on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus.
It comes as the surging Delta variant of COVID-19 has overwhelmed hospitals in a state with one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates.
The first emergency field hospital opened last week with federal government backing after hospitalizations began spiking in Mississippi while this one is being spearheaded by a Christian relief charity Samaritan’s Purse.
The North Carolina-based relief organization arrived Sunday with more than 50 more medical professionals to erect tents with 32 more beds.
Woodward said that while Samaritan’s Purse is responding to a natural disaster in Haiti – a deadly 7.2 magnitude earthquake – the situation in Mississippi is a ‘disaster of our own making.’
‘We as a state, as a collective, have failed to respond in a unified way to a common threat, we have failed to use the tools that we have to protect ourselves,’ she said.
On July 27, some 726 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus. By August 16, that figure stood at 1,623 – a 99 percent increase.
Mississippi’s State Health Officer, Dr Thomas Dobb likens the newest Mississippi surge to a ‘tsunami’ and it has overwhelmed the state’s hospital system.
University of Mississippi Medical Center spokesperson Marc Rolph was somber about unfolding events.
‘It’s unbelievable that we’re doing this again within what? Six days? Heartbreaking,’ he said of two field hospitals that have gone up.
‘Instead of seeing women bury their parents, we’re seeing women bury their children,’ Rolph said on a visit Tuesday afternoon. ‘It’s a sad and heartbreaking thing.’