It is easy to forget how terrible the spread of COVID-19 has been in America. The headlines more recently have focused on outbreaks in India, Indonesia, and Brazil. However, there have been a total of 34,368,072 confirmed cases in the U.S. which is 18% of the global total. Fatal cases in America have hit 615,842, about 15% of the world’s total.
The rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. has slowed considerably. Sixty percent of people 18 years or older are vaccinated nationwide. However, millions of people refuse vaccination. In some states, as many as half the resits fall into this category. This is particularly true in some Southern states. Only 43% of the people 18 years or older have been fully vaccinated in Mississippi. Other states on the “low vaccination” list include Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
The vaccination problem has been exacerbated by the recent very rapid spread of the “Delta” variant. It spreads more than 50% faster than the version of the disease most prevalent in the U.S. through 2020 and early 2021. Unvaccinated people in the U.S. have been put at additional risk because of this much higher infection rate.
Lack of vaccination and the spread of the Delta variant has led to fears that hospitals will begin to overflow with those seriously affected by COVID0-19. This has already begun to happen in Florida and Missouri.
When public health officials and the media look at the spread of the disease, they tend to focus on three numbers–cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. To make comparisons of these from state to state and from county to county they use a “per 100,000” calculation. This allows experts to compare places with small populations to those which are larger in number.
Currently, the state with the lowest number of hospitalization per 100,000 residents based on a seven-day average is Vermont at less than one. Its figure is 29. This compares to a nationwide average of nine.
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