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"abundance of caution" seems to become the new go-to catchphrase
One state has no available ICU beds while thousands more students quarantine due to Covid-19
Those unvaccinated against Covid-19 aren't just risking their own health -- they're also jeopardizing medical care for others and fueling a surge that's forcing more students to quarantine, doctors say.
Covid-19 hospitalizations have doubled over the past three weeks, with 83,693 people hospitalized this week, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. No ICU beds are left in the entire state of Alabama, the Alabama Hospital Association told CNN on Tuesday. "We in fact are in a negative 11," Dr. Don Williamson, president of the association, told CNN affiliate WSFA. "In the Montgomery area we have eight more patients who are getting ICU care than we have designated ICU beds here. In other parts of the state, we have over 30 patients in hospitals, needing ICU care, who are not in a designated ICU bed." Alabama has 1,557 staffed intensive care unit beds and on Tuesday, there were 1,568 patients in need of ICU care, Williamson said. The Alabama Department of Public Health said 2,631 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 complications. In Tennessee, "We are prepared to deploy additional medical personnel from the Tennessee National Guard to our hospitals in greatest need of assistance," the state health department wrote in a letter Monday. In Kentucky, hospitals are starting to cancel or postpone surgeries that would require post-operative admission to the hospital, state Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said. "ICU and ventilator data -- it is a vertical climb," Stack said Tuesday. "There's no sign it is abating. We are already just shy of our all-time record. Another day or two, we'll be past that record for ICUs."
Thousands more students are forced to stay home
More than 3,000 students and employees have been quarantined in the New Orleans Public School District due to Covid-19 cases in the past week, according to the district's latest tally. That represents 5.89% of all students and teachers in the school district. In Florida, 5,599 students and 316 employees in Hillsborough County Public Schools, which includes Tampa, were in isolation or quarantine as of Monday morning because of Covid-19 cases, according to the school district. The Hillsborough County School Board said it will have an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss Covid-19 mitigation strategies -- which may include "mandatory face coverings for all students and staff." Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' office has said the state could withhold salaries of officials who impose mask mandates in schools. But most Americans -- 69% -- support local school districts requiring everyone to wear masks when inside schools, according to Axios-Ipsos poll results published Tuesday. A majority, 77%, oppose state governments withholding funding from school districts or local governments that implement mask mandates. The poll, which was conducted August 13 to 16 and made up of a nationally representative sample of 1,041 US adults, also found that 64% of Americans support state and local governments requiring masks in all public places.
Travelers are canceling trips with COVID numbers rising again: "It was really kind of heartbreaking"
After a rebound in travel this summer, people are once again canceling plans for trips because of the surging number of COVID cases. In a recent survey, 27% of respondents said they postponed a trip and more than 54% said the Delta variant has made them less interested in traveling right now. It's an emotional balancing act so many people are struggling with at the moment. On one hand, we're desperate to reconnect with friends we haven't seen in person in ages for a big event. On the other hand, the pandemic is raging once again.
On Wednesday, Cotton Starr of Houston was expecting to see her friends in San Diego for the first time - in a long time. Kim Hoff, outside Denver, has been waiting even longer - planning to meet her friends at Dragon Con - a pop culture convention in Atlanta next month. Both canceled their long-awaited trips due to the spread of the Delta variant. "It was really kind of heartbreaking to not be able to finally go," Starr said. "It's been basically two years now since I've been able to see them," Hoff said. "When it got to the point of the rates just skyrocketing in the last week or so, I thought, 'no, I'm sorry, there's no level of logistics that will make me feel OK if I bring this back with me.'"
The highly transmissible strain of COVID is accounting for most new cases, which soared nationwide over the past two months. "It wasn't just the rates in Atlanta. The rates are getting worse here in Colorado," Hoff said. "And who knows how many people you're going to pass in the airport." Economist Adit Damodaran with the travel app Hopper says summer flight demand has flattened from pandemic highs, which is leading to lower prices. "Airfare is on the downtrend," Damodaran said. But his service is finding - since July - one aspect of travel is up. There's been a 33% increase in people buying cancelable tickets. "People want to have that option to cancel if for any reason, you know, something happens, the situation develops in a way where they can't take that trip," Damodaran said.
Other potential passenger pitfalls are increased airline cancelations. In June and July, domestic air cancelations were above their 1% average, which translates to 10,000 cancelations in July alone. Spirit, American and other carriers are suffering from short staffing, bad weather and other issues - leaving people like Starr concerned. To help manage her lupus, she takes immunosuppressants. "I am a high-risk category," Starr said. "So, I was a little concerned with what was going to happen during that travel. I was going to be exposed to a lot of people, a lot of, kind of, angry people on the airplanes didn't really want to get involved with that." The worst-case scenario made her cancel her plans. "Our hospitals are filling up so fast and we're one of the largest medical centers in the nation," Starr said. "I don't know if there will be room if I have to end up going." Hoff's ailing grandfather led her to change her mind. "I've been keeping in the back of my mind, I might need to make a short-notice trip to see him," Hoff said. "And if I take the risk for anything, you know, it should be family." Cotton did not purchase a cancelable ticket, but Southwest is giving her a credit toward her next flight. Hoff bought travel insurance and will be reimbursed through them. For all the people canceling plans, a sizable number still plan to stick to their trips. 26% of people say they plan to travel in October, according to a recent survey.
They are lucky they can travel. International travel from Australia is basically impossible (for the last 18 months) and even trying to travel domestically is iffy as states keep going into lockdown.
Don't worry - others will follow.Quote
the shitty town were I live (Bielefeld) is now amongst Germany's top five Corona hotspots…
Meanwhile . . . I got my third shot today.
bye bye johnny
From MetLife Stadium in NJ:
LADY GAGA – POSTPONED TO 2022
Lady Gaga's Chromatica Ball show scheduled for August 19, 2021 at MetLife Stadium has been postponed. Information on new show dates will be shared as soon as possible.
Meanwhile . . . I got my third shot today.
I'm getting mine on August 30. I have to juggle the timing between infusions or I would get it sooner.
Well said Neil. That's why he is one of my musical heroes, He gets it and cares.
bye bye johnny
Live Nation to Require Vaccination or Negative Test at All Venues, Festivals
Guidelines go in effect on October 4th, the same date all of concert giant’s employees must be vaccinated
By DANIEL KREPS
August 14, 2021