With skyrocketing coronavirus hospitalizations in several states…
Hard-hit counties in Arizona and Texas are preparing for the worst by bringing in refrigerated trucks as morgues fill up.
The US coronavirus outbreak hit nearly 3.5 million total infections Thursday morning and more than 137,000 reported deaths.
Thirty-nine states reported an increase in the number of new cases from the week before.
California, Florida, Arizona and Texas have become the states to watch as surging coronavirus cases lead to a shortage of hospital beds.
Arizona and Texas portable coolers
In Arizona’s Maricopa County, which has the most Covid-19 cases in the state, the medical examiner’s office has ordered four portable coolers with additional ones expected in the coming days, said Fields Moseley, the county spokesman.
The medical examiner’s office morgue had a total of 156 deceased people – with a surge capacity of just over 200, Moseley said Wednesday.
It is unclear how many of the deaths are related to the coronavirus – the county has said fatalities go up in the summer due to the heat.
Two counties in Texas – Cameron and Hidalgo – are sharing a large refrigerated trailer to store bodies of coronavirus patients because of a lack of space at the morgues.
San Antonio officials have also said they’re requesting refrigerated trucks. “I’m pleading with everybody in our neck of the woods, help us do your part, people’s lives are at stake – not just the people getting sick, but doctors, nurses working to the bone, EMS personnel, transporting people,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. told KVEO.
This reminds me of a morgue in New York piling up bodies in trucks at the beginning of the pandemic.
Officials look for options as hospitals fill up
As infections go up, officials nationwide are rushing to issue restrictions all over again.
Gov. Brian Kemp extended Georgia’s emergency coronavirus restrictions and said while people are “strongly encouraged” to wear face coverings – they’re not required.
The order, which expires July 31, limits public gatherings to 50 people and mandates social distancing. But his order also prevents local governments from implementing stricter rules than the state’s – including requiring face masks.
The state reported 417 additional hospitalizations, nearly double Tuesday’s total, and is turning the Georgia World Congress Center, a large convention venue in downtown Atlanta, into a potential overflow hospital
California, the country’s most populous state, set two more records Wednesday with highs for hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions.
The state announced 11,126 new cases, with a total of 6,786 Covid-19 positive hospital patients and 1,907 patients in the ICU.
And in Los Angeles County, the public health director warned another stay-at-home order is likely
“We can’t take anything off the table – there’s absolutely no certainty of what exactly is going to happen next,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.
California met its goal to have 10,000 contact tracers statewide by July 1, but Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said it’s not enough to handle the onslaught of coronavirus cases. “We did not build the first contact tracing program on this level of transmission,” Ghaly said.
Florida reported 301,810 positive cases statewide Wednesday with 19,334 people hospitalized.
More than 50 hospitals have reached ICU capacity and show zero beds available, according to according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Eight of those hospitals are in Miami-Dade County.
Texas and Arizona
In South Texas, hospitals in Laredo are full and the federal government is converting a hotel into a health care facility.
Arizona health officials announced they’re bringing nearly 600 critical care and medical-surgical nurses from out of state to help.
“Covid-19 hospitalizations in Arizona have increased with hospitals reporting nearly 3,500 inpatients and more than 900 patients in their intensive care units,” the Arizona Department of Health Services said in a statement.
No end in sight
Public health experts say the end of the pandemic remains out of sight, and several states took steps to mandate the wearing of masks.
Alabama and Montana have said they are now required in public. In Montana, face coverings are mandatory in certain indoor group settings where more than 50 people gather and social distancing is not possible.
More than 30 states now have mandates on face coverings in public.
And in Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt said he’s tested positive for Covid-19 the same day the state reported a record high number of new cases. There were 22,813 total cases in the state, up 1,075 from Tuesday, health officials said. At least 561 people are hospitalized due to the virus.Despite his diagnosis, Stitt said he opposes a statewide face mask law, partly because it would be difficult to enforce. Chairs sit stacked inside a closed bar in Austin, Texas.
Higher death toll expected
Thousands more Americans will die from the virus before a vaccine is developed, an influential model says.
The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is projecting 224,000 people will die from the virus by November 1 – an increase of almost 16,000 from the week before.
That jump is due to skyrocketing cases around the country, particularly in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
It is terrifying what people in the U.S. are going through and will be forced to go through. I am with you all my friends!