US Coronavirus: ‘There’s No Place To Put These Bodies,’ Alabama Health Official Says As Covid-19 Deaths Rise

In Alabama, one of the hardest-hit states in the latest wave, the overall number of hospitalizations continues to climb, prompting health officials to use mobile trailers to house bodies because of the deaths from Covid- 19 are skyrocketing, state health official Dr Scott Harris said on Friday.

The state activated two of its four refrigerated trailers for the first time since the start of the pandemic, Harris said, in Mobile and Baldwin counties this week.

“These are usually organized in the event of an event causing a large number of casualties, for example, when a large number of bodies appear at the same time. ‘Alabama,’ Harris said.

“We have enough people dying (…) so that there is no place to put these bodies,” he added. “We are really in a crisis situation. … I don’t know how much longer we can do this.”

Alabama reported 50 Covid-19-related deaths on Thursday and recorded a “double-digit death toll” in the past two to three weeks, Harris said.

At least 5,571 children in Alabama tested positive for Covid-19 last week, Harris said Friday, noting officials do not know where the children contracted the virus. The state currently has a 23% positivity rate for Covid-19, among the highest in the country, Harris said.

Alabama is seeing an increase in pediatric cases compared to last year, Harris explained. Of the 2,879 people hospitalized with Covid-19 on Thursday, 45 of them are children, with at least five on ventilators, Harris said.

Louisiana hospitals won’t evacuate until Ida

As Hurricane Ida approaches the Gulf Coast, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in a briefing Saturday that there were 2,450 patients currently hospitalized with Covid-19 in the State, which is a 20% drop over the past 10 days.

“It’s very helpful to get into this hurricane, especially since we know that evacuating our hospitals is not an option,” Edwards said.

More than 475 of those patients are on ventilators, according to data from the State Department of Health.

Edwards told CNN’s Jim Acosta that hospitals were stocking up on supplies and testing their generators ahead of the storm. FEMA has also brought in additional generators for hospitals, he added.

“It will be a real challenge and we will probably need help with our hospitals,” the governor said. “And then you have the people who could be injured as a result of the hurricane itself and so we have to make sure we have some capacity for them.”

All parishes in the state are in the highest risk category for the coronavirus, with widespread and uncontrolled transmission and many undetected cases, the state’s health department said.

Oxygen reserves are dwindling in the South

As many hospitals across the country face a shortage of available beds and staff, there is another concern in the South: a shortage of oxygen.

According to state health officials and hospital consultants, several hospitals in Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana have experienced oxygen shortages, with some at risk of going to their reserve or even running out of gas. ‘oxygen.

“As Covid has continued to evolve, we have continued to see Covid’s best care practices continue to evolve, and part of that has been the use of high flow oxygen versus ventilators,” Donna said. Cross, senior manager of facilities and construction at Premier. , a healthcare performance improvement company.

Cross told CNN that the surge in Covid-19 cases has led to increased demand for oxygen supplies and hospitals cannot keep pace.

Coronavirus transmission is high across the country

All 50 states have high rates of Covid-19 transmission, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, as millions of children who cannot be vaccinated return to school. The CDC identifies transmission of the virus as high when the total number of new cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period is 100 or more cases.

But only half of the US states – plus Washington, DC – have fully immunized at least 50% of their residents. These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State and Wisconsin.

Across the country, rAbout 32% of people aged 12 to 17 fully vaccinated, adolescents were difficult to vaccinate, but there are a few highlights.
More than 86% of 12 to 17 year olds who received a first dose would later complete their vaccinations, which is necessary for optimal protection against the Delta variant, according to a CDC study.

The study highlights the importance of immunizing eligible children and youth upon returning from school.

“Improving vaccine coverage and implementing Covid-19 prevention strategies are crucial to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with Covid-19 in adolescents and to facilitate a safer reopening of schools for the in-person learning, ”the researchers wrote in the study.

Students arrive for their first day of school Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at Westlake Elementary School in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Covid-19 hits school staff and students

The start of the school year has been devastating for some states and districts which are seeing worrying numbers of students contracting the virus. Preventive measures such as quarantine are underway across the country.

In Mississippi, 28,990 students were quarantined between August 16 and 20 after possible exposure to Covid-19, according to data from the state’s health department, compared to 20,334 students who were quarantined. quarantine from August 9 to 13.

It is not known how many of them are new students in quarantine or students who have had to stay in quarantine since the previous week. Schools are reporting the numbers, not the names, of people quarantined, according to the health ministry.

A total of 11,766 students and 2,383 employees have tested positive for Covid-19 in Mississippi schools since early August, when schools began, health officials said.

Houston reports first pediatric death from Covid-19 in youngster with no underlying condition

In California, the Los Angeles Unified School District reported 2,847 active cases of Covid-19 among students and staff as of Friday night, according to the district dashboard. The district said as of Tuesday, 3,000 students and 500 employees were to self-isolate at home while 3,500 students and 500 employees were to self-quarantine at home.

The country’s second largest district has adopted some of the strictest mitigation measures in its more than 1,000 schools. But officials remain on their guard over the spread.

“We anticipate an upward trend in epidemics as our schools reopen, but we continue to work hard to prevent, investigate and manage them as they occur,” said the director of Los Angeles County Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer at a weekly briefing on Thursday.

Ambulances await at a hospital in Montgomery, Alabama, as the state grapples with the latest wave of coronavirus.

Healthcare resources stretched for non-Covid-19 patients

As the increase in Covid-19 cases persists, medical care for other health needs is reduced.

Three OhioHealth hospitals have decided to temporarily suspend elective surgeries that require an overnight stay due to an influx of hospitalizations for Covid-19, spokesman Colin Yoder told CNN in a statement on Friday. The move, effective Monday, frees capacity and hospital staff, he explained.

“Due to the fluid nature of this fourth surge, we will continuously monitor capacity and suspend or resume elective surgeries with an overnight stay as needed,” Yoder said.

Pandemic outbreak causes major shortage of drug that treats rheumatoid arthritis and severe Covid-19
The challenges of maintaining a high standard of health care are not limited to personnel issues. There has also been a shortage of monoclonal antibody therapy used to treat both hospital patients with Covid-19 and those with serious chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

The Actemra treatment received emergency use authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration in June to treat people with Covid-19. The drug reduces inflammation which can make patients sicker. It’s used regularly for people with rheumatoid arthritis, but Genentech, the company that makes Actemra, doesn’t have enough for everyone who needs it.

Last week, the company said demand for the drug had increased by more than 400% beyond pre-Covid-19 levels, within two weeks. Supplies of several dose levels of the drug have been out of stock in the United States since last Monday.

On Thursday, Genentech told customers it was “working as quickly as possible to expedite replenishments and increase manufacturing capacity and supply where possible.”

The company said the drug is expected to be available for distribution from Monday, but “given the limited and continued supply, Genentech expects additional intermittent periods of stockouts in the coming months if the pandemic continues. at the current rate “.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Virginia Langmaid, Mallory Simon, Kristen Holmes, Jen Christensen, Jennifer Henderson and Alta Spells contributed to this report.

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