COVID-19 cases nearly triple

** Related video above: COVID-19 cases detected in Ohio **

MISSION, Kan. (AP) – COVID-19 Cases of the disease almost tripled in the US within two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, tiring doctors and pushing educators soldiers into the war.

“Our staff are so frustrated they are canceling elective surgeries and procedures after patient numbers,” said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, a Florida hospital. mostly unvaccinated residents for COVID-19 at its two facilities rose to 134, up from a low of 16 in mid-May.

“They are tired. They are thinking this is another déjà vu, and there is some anger because we know that this is a preventable situation and people are not taking advantage of the vaccine.”

Across the US, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6, according to data from the University of California. at Johns Hopkins. Health officials blame delta variations and slowing vaccination rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 56.2% of Americans have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Louisiana, health officials reported 5,388 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday — the third-highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. The number of hospitalizations for the disease has increased to 844 cases statewide, an increase of more than 600 since mid-June.

FILE – In this January 10, 2021 file photo, Sarah Gonzalez of New York, a Nurse Practitioner, displays a COVID-19 vaccine card at the New York Health and Hospital vaccine clinic in Brooklyn borough of New York. Workers at New York City-run hospitals and health clinics will have to be vaccinated or tested weekly under a policy announced Wednesday, July 21 to combat a surge in cases. COVID-19 caused by the delta variant is highly contagious. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

Utah reported 295 hospitalizations from the virus, the highest number since February. The state has recorded an average of about 622 confirmed cases per day in the last week, about three times the infection rate at its lowest point in early June. Health data shows the increase is almost entirely related to the unvaccinated.

“It’s like seeing a car wreck before it happens,” said Dr James Williams, clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at Texas Tech, who has recently begun treating many COVID-19 patients. “None of us want to go through this again.”

He said the patients were younger – many in their 20s, 30s and 40s – and were barely vaccinated.

As principal pastor of one of Missouri’s largest churches, Jeremy Johnson has heard reasons congregations don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine. He wants them to know that it’s not just about getting vaccinated, it’s what the Bible encourages.

“I think there’s a big effect of fear,” said Johnson, whose Springfield-based church also has a campus in Nixa and another soon to open in the Republic. “The fear of believing something other than the bible, the fear of believing something other than the political party they are more comfortable following. Fear of trusting science. We hear: ‘I trust God, not science.’ But the truth is that science and God are not something you have to choose between.”

Now, many churches in southwestern Missouri, like the North Point Church affiliated with Johnson’s Church of God, are holding vaccination clinics. Meanwhile, about 200 church leaders have signed a statement urging Christians to get vaccinated, and on Wednesday announced a follow-up public service campaign.

According to a 2019 report by the Pew Research Center, opposition is strong against white Protestant evangelicals, who make up more than a third of Missouri residents.

“We find that faith communities are very influential, very trustworthy, and for me that is one of the answers to how you increase your vaccination rates,” said Ken McClure, mayor of Springfield. said.

Two hospitals in his city are packed with patients, hitting record highs and near-record for the pandemic. Steve Edwards, CEO of CoxHealth in Springfield, tweeted that the hospital has taken 175 nurses on a trip and expects another 46 to arrive on Monday.

“Grateful for the help,” wrote Edwards, who had previously tweeted that anyone spreading misinformation about vaccines should “Shut.”

Jacob Burmood, an artist, 40, from Kansas City, Missouri, said his mother promoted the vaccine conspiracy theory even though her husband – Burmood’s stepfather – was hospitalized on a ventilator in Springfield.

“It’s really, really sad and it’s really frustrating,” he said.

Burmood recalls how his mother had been sick recently and was “trying to tell me that vaccinations made her sick, and it wasn’t even COVID. I just closed her door. I said, ‘Mom, I can’t tell you about conspiracy theories right now.’ … You need to go to the hospital. You will die.”

His mother, in her 70s, has recovered from her illness.

In New York City, workers at city-run hospitals and health clinics will be required to get vaccinated or tested weekly as officials battle a surge in COVID-19 cases. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

De Blasio’s order won’t apply to teachers, police officers and other city employees, but it is part of the city’s intense focus on vaccination amid a surge in illnesses. delta variant infection.

The number of daily doses of the vaccine given in the city has fallen to just under 18,000, down from a peak of more than 100,000 in early April. System manager Dr. Mitchell Katz said about 65 percent of adults are fully immunized, compared with about 60 percent of staff in the public hospital system.

Meanwhile, in the city there are cashews that have been increasing for weeks and health officials say this variant accounts for about 7 out of 10 cases they sequenced.

“We have to deal with it positively. And finally, there’s also this thing called personal responsibility,” said de Blasio, urging vaccinated people to raise issues with unvaccinated loved ones and “stand up to them”.

Back in Louisiana, New Orleans officials recommended that people continue to wear masks indoors. Mayor LaToya Cantrell stopped requiring masks on Wednesday. The new advisor, she said, “puts the responsibility on individuals, rather than the city on a mandate.” | COVID-19 cases nearly triple

Huynh Nguyen

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