As 2020 closes, America is setting records for COVID-19 mortalities. As of Wednesday, more than 3,740 people in the U.S. died from the disease according to Johns Hopkins University data. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected a whopping 80,000 more Americans could die from COVID-19 in the next 3 weeks. Along with deaths, there are record number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 with a record number of 125,200 patients recorded Wednesday.
According to published reports, the current surge is crippling hospitals across the country, but especially in Los Angeles County where the number of hospitalized patients rose 1,000%, up from two months ago. According to the Covid Tracking Project there was also a 40% increase in ICU coronavirus patients over September’s figures of 16% in ICU units. Healthcare experts are concerned that the post-holiday surge may force facilities to ration nurses, respirators, and other medical care for these patients. This can lead to tough decisions.
''When you run out of capacity, physicians and bioethicists in these hospitals will need to decide which patients are salvageable—and which patients aren’t,'' said CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner.
New Orleans officials urged citizens to be extremely cautious New Year’s Eve, and announced that bars and live adult entertainment facilities must close by 11 p.m, according to CNN.
''Please stay home and ring in the New Year safely with the members of your immediate household,'' said Mayor LaToya Cantrell, in a statement.
According to CNN, even with the vaccine rollout, the nation is facing challenging times as the New Year begins. Healthcare experts predict that the vaccination will not have a meaningful impact on the pandemic until the summer of 2021.
''I actually think we’re now beyond waves or surges and this is a viral tsunami that we are experiencing,'' said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
''The next couple of months will be awful,'' said Reiner, who also is a professor of medicine at George Washington School of Medicine, according to an earlier CNN article. ''We’re going to lose 3,000, maybe more people a day probably until we are well into February. And then, we should see some light.''
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