- The US is averaging more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths per day for the first time since March, according to the New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker.
- The country is also averaging 152,341 new cases per day, up from approximately 80,000 at the beginning of August.
- Hospitals are struggling to support new patients due to a lack of available ICU beds and staff.
The US is reporting an average of more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths per day for the first time since March 2021, according to the New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker.
The tracker reported approximately 1,470 coronavirus-related deaths in the country on Wednesday, up from 1,408 the day before.
New cases are also firmly on the rise, as an average of 152,341 additional cases are reported each day. For context, the country averaged about 80,000 per day at the beginning of August.
Hospitals in several states are struggling to support the recent influx of serious coronavirus cases due to a limited number of intensive care unit beds. One hospital in Mississippi said that it has begun canceling brain and heart surgeries due to a lack of space in the ICU. Clinics are also grappling with nursing shortages due to staff burnout amid the prolonged pandemic.
“We’re really struggling,” Dr. Dale Bratzler, Oklahoma University’s Chief COVID Officer, told Insider. “We don’t have the nursing capacity now … that we did in January.”
While not as deadly as the original strain of COVID-19 that swept over the country in 2020, the Delta variant is more transmissible, or easier to spread. The strain’s most dangerous effects are well-mitigated by the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the University of Chicago, between 90% to 97% of hospitalized COVID-19 cases come from patients with the Delta variant who are unvaccinated.
Approximately 61% of all Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 73% of adults and 92% of people age 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine full approval on Monday, and lifted its “emergency use authorization.”