The U.S. is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases in mid-July 2021, with a case average of nearly 20,000 over the last seven days. Though many states are experiencing rising cases, it’s five states in particular that are causing concern with their COVID rates: Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada.
According to CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a “surprising amount” of COVID-19 deaths could follow from the rise in cases, which according to Johns Hopkins University data, represents a nearly 50% increase over the previous week’s totals.
“In places like Missouri where ICUs are packed, you’re going to see a surprising amount of death,” Reiner stated, adding that it typically takes a few weeks for increased COVID-19 deaths to follow case number spikes. Typically, patients develop illness over a week, require hospitalization, and then the illness can become fatal over the next couple of weeks.
One of the states with alarming rising COVID rates is Missouri, where, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, 91% of ICU patients are on ventilators—with a number of those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. That compares unfavorably to the peak of the pandemic in 2020, where just 40-50% of ICU patients were on ventilators.
According to Local10.com, Florida’s case numbers are on the rise at a rate not seen since April 2021. Between July 2-8, more than 23,000 new cases were verified in Florida, marking the greatest weekly increase since the nearly 30,000 cases reported the week that began April 30.
USA Today reported that case numbers are rising in 42 different states, even with vaccination numbers slowing across the nation. Health experts are continuing to emphasize that COVID-19 fatalities in this phase of the pandemic are strongly linked to vaccination status.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. in June were among unvaccinated people. The publication went on to report that preliminary data from the previous six months shows that the great majority of COVID-19 deaths involved unvaccinated people—in a time frame including the early part of 2021 in which vaccines weren’t yet widely available.
Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia are the only states that saw declines in cases over the past week.