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As much as we want coronavirus to end, we are in the midst of a major surge—and are headed into a potentially scary fall, with back to school time. Just this week, the daily average COVID deaths in America topped 2,000. In response, Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, appeared on his podcast and issued these important warnings about which states to watch out for. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
"The coronavirus claimed 52 more lives in Kentucky as the governor warned Wednesday that the virus is hitting younger people harder than at any other time during the public health crisis," reports the AP. "The latest virus-related deaths in the Bluegrass States included people as young as 34, 38 and 39, Gov. Andy Beshear said. The statewide death toll reached at least 8,422 since the pandemic began. In eastern Kentucky, a 29-year-old teacher who was fully vaccinated, died on Monday after battling COVID-19, the district's superintendent said. Joannie Bartley, a middle school math teacher in the Jenkins Independent district, died at Pikeville Medical Center."
"Despite rising vaccination numbers, West Virginia is one of the most dangerous states in terms of COVID-19," reports WBOY. "The national vaccination rate is around 55%, but West Virginia drags at the bottom with the lowest national vaccination rate at only 48%. Although the number of active cases has decreased rapidly in the state over the past week, West Virginia DHHR is still reporting between 1 and 2 thousand new COVID cases every day."
"Hit with a rising number of COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages, Ohio's hospitals are describing a 'dire situation' facing the state's health-care system," reports Cleveland.com. "In his letter to Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Hospital Association President and CEO Mike Abrams said many state hospitals are seeing hospitalization and ICU levels that exceed any time in the pandemic, including the surge last December. The number of COVID-19 inpatients has grown from 200 in July to 3,702 now, he stated." "Hospital and health-care resources are not unlimited. When hospital resources, including staff, are stretched so thin, hospitals' ability to care for patients can be compromised," he wrote.
"Dr. Jodi Lenko with Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton says the recent spike in COVID cases in the commonwealth is due to the Delta variant arriving here," says the local ABC channel. "The rise in COVID is similar to the rise that we saw in the south and in the western part of the country earlier in the summer, it's driven mostly by the Delta variant," said Dr. Lenko.
"Nevada on Tuesday reported 1,230 new coronavirus cases and 38 deaths over the preceding day as the state's longer-term COVID-19 metrics all edged higher," reports the Review Journal. "Reported fatalities surpassed the 35 deaths reported Monday for the preceding three days, highlighting a trend that has held steady for months now. State officials have said that, because figures are no longer reported on weekends, delayed reporting and data redistribution can cause Monday and Tuesday numbers to be inflated, though it's unclear by how much. In a recurring pattern seen in recent weeks, a majority of the newly reported cases occurred outside Clark County."
Cases are Also Going Up Here
"In the upper Midwest, we're now beginning to see an increasing number of cases just in the last 14 days, Iowa had a 26% increase, South Dakota, 39, Kansas, 15, Minnesota, 121, Michigan 31% increase, Wisconsin, 87% increase, North Dakota, 44% increase. Is this going to be the next hot area? Could it be as hot as anything in the South?" asked Osterholm.
How to Stay Safe Where You Live
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.