With the Delta variant driving a surge in COVID - 19 infections, accounting for more than 90% of new cases across the U.S. Health officials warn the threat of contagious variant is serious as infected patients crowd hospital beds in hard-hit regions.
I cannot emphasize enough how serious this situation is, University of Maryland Hospital Center emergency physician Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne told Yahoo Finance Live, referring to the Delta variant. "This is a wake-up call for everyone in the country, regardless of where they live."
The daily average case count rose above 96,000 on Wednesday, about a 130% jump over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times data compiled. And the daily average number of deaths are on the rise as well, climbing to 410 in the past 14 days to 65%, but still a fraction of the total reported during Winter Peak.
In the way of situations, Florida and Texas account for about a third of new cases across the country. Texas recorded more than 15,000 new COVID - 19 cases Wednesday, its highest total in six months in one day according to state data. While the Florida Hospital Association reported more than 17,000 new COVID - 19 cases in the state and 11,515 COVID - 19 patients hospitalized as of Wednesday, with 86% of ECU beds in use.
But it isn’t just Florida and Texas that have seen a rapid rise in cases fueled by the Delta Variant. States including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma and South Carolina have seen confirmed COVID cases jump more than 100% in the past two weeks.
The Delta variant, which is driving the recent surge in cases, was first detected in India. The variant has now been identified in more than 130 countries and a recent internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document warned it's likely to cause more severe illness and is as contagious as chickenpox.
Preparatory remarks on Tuesday described the Delta variant as a 'largely preventable tragedy that will get worse before it gets better' as President Biden laid out plans to get more Americans vaccinated and stop the spread of COVID.
Although vaccination numbers in the country are improving, only 49% of the population is vaccinated and 58% have received one shot.
"As an emergency physician who continues to take care of patients on a daily basis test positive for COVID is a real threat. Clayborne added. 'Reach out to those members of your family or their friends circle who have not been vaccinated and encourage them to rethink that because it is very risky.