Health Sector Struggles as Omicron Spreads Across America
Parts of the United States is seeing increasing cases of the Omicron, a highly transmissible variant of Covid-19.
Data shows that Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico have reported more numbers of cases in the past week than in any other seven-day period.
Experts warn that the surge of infections, combined with the fact that tens of millions of Americans remain unvaccinated, could still create a severe strain on the U.S. health system and lead to many more deaths.
According to the New York Times database, a seven-day national average of new daily cases surpassed 197,000, a 65% jump over the past 14 days. Deaths also increased by 3% during that time, to a seven-day average of 1,345.
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There are also increasing cases of hospitalization. Nearly 71,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19, 8% higher than the previous week but still well below previous peaks.
After New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency, many elective surgeries were put on pause at many hospitals.
In Massachusetts last week, Gov. Charlie Baker said he would activate up to 500 members of the National Guard to help in overburdened hospitals. Many other states have done the same.
Data shows that unvaccinated people are five times as likely to test positive and 14 times as likely to die of COVID compared with vaccinated patients. Vaccination is still a strong protector against severe illness.