As the Delta variant is spreading across the US, the Covid situation in Florida and Texas is deteriorating, especially among the unvaccinated. Health experts have warned that the fourth wave of COVID-19 could affect the unvaccinated and increase the risks of hospitalization in these two states.
The USA Today published a report which revealed the increasing number of Covid cases in Florida and Texas. The report emphasized on the growing concerns due to delta variant in these two states with respect to increasing hospitalizations and crowding emergency rooms with non-COVID illnesses.
While Florida and Texas accounted for one-third of all COVID cases last week, cases, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing in nearly all states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Florida's Largest Hospital Systems are expanding their Coronavirus Units
Florida is seeing some big numbers in this new wave of coronavirus -- including most cases, second most cases per capita behind Louisiana, and most hospitalizations per capita, reported NBC News.
On Monday, the University of Miami announced 90 percent of the current COVID patients at UHealth and Jackson Health systems hospitals are infected with the Delta variant.
Hospitalizations have grown tenfold statewide in just over a month as the more contagious delta variant spreads, with more than 95% of COVID-19 patients unvaccinated, according to Medical Xpress. The state is now leading the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19.
"The delta variant is ripping through the unvaccinated," said Mary Mayhew, CEO of Florida Hospital Association, according to USA Today.
Further stressing hospitals are larger-than-normal volumes of sick people crowding emergency rooms with non-COVID illnesses, Mayhew said. The combination has challenged hospitals' capacity to staff enough nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and other clinicians to care for the surge of critically-ill patients.
Beds are Available but No Nursing Staff for Patients in Some Texas Hospitals
In Texas, hospitals are preparing for the steady rise of COVID hospitalizations that are following rising cases counts. Like in Florida, Texas hospital beds are being filled with unvaccinated COVID patients, said Angela G. Clendenin, a professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health, reported USA Today.
While previous COVID-19 waves mainly involved older and middle-aged adults with existing health conditions, the new wave is claiming young adults in their 20s and 30s who need breathing machines in hospital intensive care units, Clendenin said.
"By not getting vaccinated and doing your part, we risk crashing one of the most advanced health care systems in the world," Clendenin said.
Hospitals in South Texas are already struggling to keep up with the pace of sick patients.
South Texas hospitals in Corpus Christi, Victoria, Kingsville, Beeville and San Antonio began diverting patients. In a statement this week, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales urged available nurses to fill a staffing gap amid a surge of COVID-19 patients.
"Every staffed bed is full," Canales said. "There are beds available but no nursing staff for them," reported USA Today.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high transmission.