Hospitalizations reach highest in six weeks while infection rates climb in 13 states

All Patriot NewsOctober 13, 202014min

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have trended upward since early September while over a dozen states have reported spikes in infection rates.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are at the highest level since Sept. 2, with 35,072 people currently receiving treatment in hospital settings as of Tuesday, compared with 29,944 on Oct. 4, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The number of hospitalizations has not yet come close to the highs recorded in July, when the number approached 60,000 several times. As hospitalizations trend upward, test positivity rates in 13 states have surpassed 10{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e}, such as Alabama with 13.5{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e} of tests coming back positive, Florida with 11.7{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e}, Iowa with 18.6{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e}, and South Dakota with 23{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e}. Meanwhile, the nationwide test positive rate has remained steady at about 5{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e} since late September.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, warned that sharp increases in new infections will invariably lead to a wave of new hospitalizations that could overwhelm the U.S. healthcare system.

“You’d like to see [the rates] less than 3{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e}, optimally 1{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e} or less,” Fauci said at an event Tuesday hosted by the College of American Pathologists.

“We’re starting to see a number of states well above that, which is often — in fact, invariably — highly predictive of a resurgence of cases, which, historically, we know leads to an increase in hospitalizations and then, ultimately, an increase in deaths,” Fauci added.

While hospitalizations have climbed, deaths have continued to decline. However, deaths are a lagging indicator of the state of the pandemic. On Monday, 287 new deaths were reported, compared with 986 on Thursday and 1,159 on Sept. 23.

In total, about 7.8 million infections and roughly 207,000 deaths have been confirmed in the United States.

President Trump revived criticism of Fauci Tuesday after months of sparring over the best way to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

“Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications,” Trump said Tuesday, referring to Fauci’s flawed opening pitch at Nationals Park. “‘No problem, no masks’. WHO no longer likes Lockdowns – just came out against. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!”

After a Trump campaign ad touting the president’s pandemic response debuted over the weekend that Fauci said took his statements “out of context,” Fauci pledged to remain on the team tasked with ending the pandemic regardless of the president’s criticism.

“I’m not gonna walk away from this outbreak no matter who’s the president,” Fauci told Shepard Smith on CNBC Monday.

The world’s No. 1 golfer, Dustin Johnson, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The PGA said that Johnson, winner of the 2016 U.S. Open, is experiencing symptoms from the virus. Johnson notified the PGA about the symptoms and was administered a test.

Johnson has withdrawn from the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek this weekend. He was listed by Las Vegas as the odds-on favorite to win.

Johnson said in a statement that he was “disappointed” at having to withdraw.

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Serie A club Juventus and the Portugal national team, also announced on Tuesday that he had also contracted COVID-19. In a statement, the Portugal Football Federation said that Ronaldo was “well, without symptoms, and in isolation.”

Ronaldo will miss Portugal’s match Wednesday against Sweden in the Nations League.

Pfizer announced that it had received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to enroll minors as young as age 12 in the phase three trial for its coronavirus vaccine. The move is aimed at determining if the vaccine is safe and effective for adolescents. Until now, the vaccine has not been tested on anyone younger than age 16.

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has paused late-stage clinical trials for its coronavirus antibody treatment because of a “potential safety concern,” according to emails that government officials sent on Tuesday to researchers at testing sites. The company has not offered additional information about the safety concerns and how many volunteers have been affected.

Eli Lilly’s announcement comes on the heels of an announcement from Johnson & Johnson Monday that one of the enrollees had come down with an “unexplained illness.” Johnson & Johnson has not said what type of illness the participant of the 60,000-person trial encountered.

“Adverse events — illnesses, accidents, etc. — even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies,” Johnson & Johnson said, adding that the company has guidelines for unexpected serious adverse events that can put studies on pause while they are being investigated.

A Goucher College poll out Tuesday found that nearly half of Maryland residents would not take a federally approved COVID-19 today even if it were offered free of charge. People ages 35 to 54 were more likely than both younger and older respondents to decline a vaccine. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they would be vaccinated. This echoes a Gallup poll from Monday, which found that only 50{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e} of people in the U.S. would be willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Senate will vote on a “targeted” coronavirus-related federal aid package next week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in a statement criticizing Democrats for refusing to cut a funding deal after weeks of negotiations. The package is not bipartisan, meaning Senate Democrats are expected to filibuster the slimmed-down bill that falls far short of the $2 trillion package their party has proposed.

“Democrats have spent months blocking policies they do not even oppose,” McConnell said in a statement Tuesday. “They say anything short of their multitrillion-dollar wish list, jammed with non-COVID-related demands, is piecemeal and not worth doing.”

Rents in the nation’s largest cities have tumbled since last year because of the pandemic, according to data released Tuesday by Of the largest 100 counties, 36 saw year-over-year declines in one-bedroom rents in September. That is up from six in March. The rents for two-bedroom apartments fell in 25 of the largest 100 countries, up from 12 in March. The declines began in March, the report states, when coronavirus infections were an issue in cities such as New York City and San Francisco.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it will not run ads that discourage people from receiving a coronavirus vaccine, saying that the “COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of preventive health behaviors … Today we’re announcing new steps as part of our continued work to help support vaccine efforts.” One of those steps includes “rejecting ads globally that discourage people from getting a vaccine.”

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