Doctors and health officials say their latest Covid-19 hospital patients are unvaccinated and increasingly younger
Over the past week, 48 states saw increases in Covid-19 cases, with 30 reporting an increase of more than 50%, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
Low vaccination rates in some areas and an increasing prevalence of the more contagious Delta variant make an already deadly virus worse, especially for younger, healthy people, Dr. Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday.
“This year’s virus is not last year’s virus. It attacks our 40-year-olds. It attacks our parents and young grandparents and has our children. And so we understand how different it is and that we do not draw our experience from it can.” last year and apply it to today and assume we’re fine is our biggest fight right now, “said O’Neal.
She said her Covid-19 unit now has more patients than ever that she previously considered healthy, including people in their twenties.
“You need to get vaccinated,” said O’Neal. “That’s the only way to end it. Masks and toning, they’re not going to take it. It’s going to be a vaccination.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Friday that 97% of Covid-19-related cases and deaths in the state since February have been among those who were not fully vaccinated.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 36.1% of the Louisiana population were fully vaccinated as of Saturday.
Meanwhile, cases in Los Angeles County are on the rise as officials reintroduce masking requirements for indoor use. The Covid-19 case rate has increased by 300% since July 4th, according to health authorities.
The Los Angeles County Department of Health confirmed 1,827 new cases of COVID-19; a quadrupling from the 457 cases on July 4th and an eight-fold increase from the 210 cases on June 15, ”officials said in a press release on Saturday. “This is due to the presence of the more contagious Delta variant and the intermingling of unmasked individuals whose vaccination status is unknown.”
The number of people hospitalized with the virus has more than doubled compared to the previous month and now stands at 462, officials said.
Daughter urges vaccination after losing mother to Covid-19
The daughter of a 63-year-old woman in Little Rock, Arkansas, urges people to get vaccinated after her mother dies of Covid-19.
“She was in the best shape of her life. She worked out with a personal trainer five times a week. She loved going out and having fun. She was a social butterfly. And she got sick and it was slow from there Rachel Maginn Rosser told CNN’s Pamela Brown on Saturday.
Rosser said her mother Kim Maginn had a sore throat and fever for about a week and was “shocked” when she went to the doctor last month and found it was not strep, but Covid-19, her daughter said .
Rosser said she felt “helpless” while her mother was dying because she couldn’t visit her in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“I had to stay outside of her room and call her on her cell phone to speak to her. She looked very small in bed. It was difficult for her to speak because she had difficulty breathing,” said Rosser.
Rosser, a nurse, noticed that her mother was not vaccinated because she believed she would not get sick as she was not yet infected.
Rosser said she pleaded with her mother to get vaccinated, but she refused.
“I’ve tried different tactics. I gave her all the facts. I tried to get her emotional side of ‘what would we do without you?
“Part of me wishes I had tried harder. But she was really stubborn. She was stubborn, but she wasn’t stupid. I think at some point I could have convinced her, but she got sick and got Covid. It was no longer time to convince her. ”
“I really think it’s avoidable,” said Rosser. “I think if she had been vaccinated she might still have gotten sick. Since she was 63 years old, she might even have ended up in the hospital, but I don’t think it would have ended in her death if she had been vaccinated would.” . “
Rosser said she hoped sharing her family’s story will help encourage others who are immune to the vaccination.
“This virus … does not discriminate. It does not matter whether you are old or young or whether you are healthy or not. Once you get it, it can be devastating for your family,” said Rosser.
She encouraged people to “keep talking to loved ones and keep trying to convince them because I don’t want anyone else to go through this”.
Cases among children who spread at summer gatherings
Children who are not old enough to receive a vaccine remain at risk of contracting Covid-19, even in settings like summer camps where many people from different households mingle.
In North Carolina, three out-of-town campers tested positive for Covid-19 at Camp Daniel Boone Scout Camp in Haywood County, local health officials said.
The camp canceled its remaining sessions and immediately notified health officials when the trio tested positive on July 14, according to a statement from Daniel Boone Council, Boy Scouts of America. The camp also informed all those who visited the camp during this time of their potential exposure.
The camp followed its “COVID-19 containment plan,” approved by the county health authorities, the statement said. Mitigation measures included a pre-event checklist for medical checkups, daily temperature checks, social distancing, mandatory masking for indoor and group environments, and hand-washing and disinfecting stations throughout the camp.
“These events show that Covid-19 is still widespread in our community. It’s not gone and this isn’t over yet. We continue to see an increase in positive cases as people gather in large groups and remain unvaccinated, “Haywood County Public told Health Director Sarah Henderson.
Similarly, Utah County, Utah officials are investigating Covid-19 cases at more than a dozen summer camps for children, according to Aislynn Tolman-Hill, a public information officer for the county’s health department.
“We hear and know that there are MANY cases of symptomatic campers being sent home but not tested,” Tolman-Hill told CNN in an email. “This is obviously a big problem. If we are not made aware of these situations, we will not be able to conduct contact tracing and notification of the exposed people.”
Local health records in Utah County show that less than 30% of children between the ages of 12 and 18 are fully vaccinated. Tolman-Hill said state law prohibits the Utah County Health Department from requiring camps to adhere to coronavirus rules or procedures.
“All we can do is educate and advertise,” she said.
Andy Rose and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.