‘We are on fire:’ Five U.S. states set new records for Covid cases as hospitalizations rise

LAC CHARLES, LOUISIANE – AUG 10: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Clinicians work to intubate a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on August 10, 2021 in Lake Charles, in Louisiana. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 surpassed another high in the state yesterday at 2,720 with Louisiana as one of the epicenters in the country as the spread of the Delta variant continues. More than ninety percent of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Louisiana are unvaccinated. Lake Charles Memorial currently holds 52 COVID-19 patients, 25 of whom are in intensive care. (Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Five states broke records for the average number of new daily Covid cases over the weekend as the delta variant strains hospital systems across the United States and forces many states to reinstate restrictions on public health.

Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Oregon and Mississippi all hit new highs in their average of seven days of new cases per day on Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Per capita, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida suffer from the three worst epidemics in the country.

New daily cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants

Note: The lines show the seven-day average of new daily cases.

Source: Johns Hopkins University, CNBC analysis. As of August 15, 2021.

New daily Covid cases by

100,000 inhabitants

Note: The lines show the daily seven-day average

new cases.

Source: Johns Hopkins University, CNBC

analysis. As of August 15, 2021.

New daily cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants

Note: The lines show the seven-day average of new daily cases.

Source: Johns Hopkins University, CNBC analysis. As of August 15, 2021.

Louisiana recorded an average of 126 cases per 100,000 residents on Sunday, more than three times the national average, while Mississippi and Florida averaged 110 and 101 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively, according to the data.

“It’s the middle of summer, people are gathering with people again, they’re in big groups, the vaccine has given people a false sense of security, and they’re forgetting,” Dr Perry Halkitis said, The dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health told CNBC in an interview.


The booming delta variant hit the Gulf Coast particularly hard, pushing hospitals to their limits. In an attempt to curb the epidemic in Louisiana, authorities in July recommended indoor masks for everyone, whether or not they were vaccinated. They reintroduced a statewide mask warrant on August 2 after it was clear it wasn’t working and cases continued to rise.

Everyone must now wear masks indoors regardless of their immunization status, including all students from kindergarten to middle school.

Louisiana has the fifth lowest vaccination rate of any state in the country with 38.3% of its population fully immune to the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Louisiana reported a record seven-day average of more than 5,800 new Covid cases on Sunday, an increase of nearly 27% from a week ago, according to data from Hopkins.

Louisiana recorded a seven-day average of 44 Covid-related deaths on Sunday, more than 46% more than a week earlier. Nearly half of the 882 state-reported intensive care beds were occupied by coronavirus patients on Monday, up from a national average of 25%, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.


Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican, on Friday pleaded with residents to get vaccinated as the state scrambles to hire hundreds of doctors, nurses and temporary paramedics.

He also requested ventilators from the National Strategic Reserve, as the spread of the delta variant fills state hospitals with mostly unvaccinated patients. Nearly 55% of Mississippi’s intensive care beds were filled with Covid patients on Monday, and the state’s seven-day average of nearly 3,300 new coronavirus cases on Sunday jumped 57% from a year ago week.

“When you look across the country, to an extent, this current wave is the pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Reeves said at a press conference. “We continue to see more and more data, and the data is becoming increasingly clear. Those who have received the vaccine are significantly less likely to contract the virus.”

Mississippi has the second-lowest coronavirus vaccination rate in the country, with 35.8% of its population fully immune on Sunday. The state’s death toll also hit a seven-day average of 20, up nearly 80% from a week ago.


Florida reported a record 151,764 new Covid cases for the week on Friday, reaching a new seven-day average of 21,681 cases per day – more than any other state. More than half of the state’s intensive care beds are occupied by Covid patients, according to HHS data.

The surge in Florida cases comes as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to resist calls from the Biden administration and state advocacy groups to enforce mask warrants and other pandemic-related measures to help contain the massive outbreak. He signed a decree and law in May that lifted all Covid restrictions across the state and permanently prevented local authorities from enacting new ones from July 1.

In late July, DeSantis issued a controversial executive order that blocked mandates for masks in state schools, overturning two counties that required face coverings for their students.


Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, deploys up to 1,500 National Guard members to help state health systems as Covid hospitalizations set a new record three days in a row, s ‘setting at 733 Friday. The state recorded 1,765 new cases on Friday, bringing its seven-day average to 1,652, according to the most recent data available.

The state reimplemented an indoor mask mandate on Friday for everyone, including fully vaccinated people, in response to the increase in hospitalizations.


Although the outbreak in Hawaii is relatively small compared to most states on the mainland, cases there have repeatedly hit new records since mid-July, reaching a seven-day average of 671 new cases per day on Sunday. , according to data from Hopkins.

That’s a jump of more than seven times from 89 cases a day a month ago. The recent surge in cases has surprised health officials and is starting to strain its hospital systems. The total number of hospitalizations on the islands is 3,030, with 552 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.

“We’re on fire. When we have hospitals that are really worried about being able to take care of people, it’s a crisis,” Health director Dr Elizabeth Char said at a press conference at the time. last week. “When we see this exponential growth in the number of people infected with Covid-19 every day – 2,000 people in the past three days – it’s a crisis. And to the point where we are overwhelming our resources, it’s a disaster . “

Hospitalization rates in Hawaii and Oregon, however, are not as high as in other states. Nationally, less than 11% of all hospital beds are used by Covid patients. In Oregon it’s 11.4%, Hawaii at 12.1% followed by Louisiana at 20.4%, Mississippi at 18.7% and Florida at 28.2%, according to HHS data.

The capacity of hospital beds is very closely related to vaccination rates. States with higher vaccination rates are seeing fewer Covid patients occupying hospital beds. Oregon has fully vaccinated 56.6% of its residents, followed by Hawaii at 54%, Florida at 50.3%, Louisiana at 37.8% and Mississippi at 35.4%, according to the reports. CDC data.

“This is why Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi are suffering from increasing bed capacity and death rates; while Oregon and Hawaii suffer with explosive case rates, but with high vaccination and masking rates, they may never be in the same precarious position. Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco.

On Sunday, the national seven-day average of new cases stood at 130,710, a 20% increase from the previous seven-day average, according to data from Hopkins. The nationwide seven-day average of Covid deaths rose to 687, up 36% from the previous average.

“We know what the tools are, and now it comes down to the value judgment of policymakers and policymakers in determining which tools they want to implement,” Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease expert at the University, told CNBC. from Toronto.

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