Houston is approaching ICU capacity amid COVID-19June 28, 2020
Houston is approaching ICU capacity while LA is closer to a ‘critical moment’ amid COVID-19 spike as experts warn rural counties in Arkansas and Missouri have seen cases double in a week and US virus cases pass 2.5 MILLION
- A staggering 2,507,874 infections have been recorded in America, making up a quarter of the world’s almost 10 million cases
- The US recorded more than 45,000 new infections Saturday, setting a dismal new daily record for confirmed cases since the outbreak started
- Some Mississippi ICUs are now full of COVID-19 patients
- Houston ICUs are edging closer to reaching capacity and officials sent an emergency alert to residents bumping up the threat level to ‘severe’
- LA is said to be approaching a ‘critical moment’ for the pandemic
- Experts are warning that rural counties could also be hard hit, after small communities in Arkansas and Missouri have seen their cases double in a week
Some Mississippi ICUs are now full of COVID-19 patients and Houston’s are edging closer to reaching capacity, as the virus continues to accelerate on its deadly path across the South and West.
Coronavirus cases in the US soared past the 2.5 million mark on Saturday as several states reported record high numbers in cases since the outbreak first touched down on US soil.
A staggering 2,507,874 infections have been recorded in America, making up a quarter of the world’s almost 10 million cases, according to a John Hopkins University tally – as fears grow that the worst is yet to come for several states.
The US recorded more than 45,000 new infections Saturday, setting a dismal new daily record for confirmed cases since the outbreak first touched down on US soil and LA is said to be approaching a ‘critical moment’.
Experts are now warning that rural counties could also be hard hit, after small communities in Arkansas and Missouri have seen their cases double in a week.
Mississippi, which already suffers from a short supply of ICU beds, has already run out of space in some hospital units, raising questions over how the state will cope in the weeks to come as another 465 people tested positive for the virus Friday.
Doctors are said to be grappling to find new non-traditional ways of creating space to take in more ICU patients to meet an uptick in demand.
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, warned Thursday that the state had seen its highest number of hospitalizations in recent days – something officials have blamed on residents not social distancing or wearing masks and attending large gatherings.
Texas continues to report record levels of new cases with another 5,747 confirmed Saturday, after a record high of 5,996 on Thursday and 5,707 on Friday.
The mayor of Houston warned the city’s ICUs are also almost at capacity and officials of the state’s largest county sent an emergency alert to residents Friday evening bumping up the threat level to its highest possible ‘LEVEL 1 (RED) SEVERE’.
The emergency warning tells residents to stay home and means the outbreak is ‘severe and uncontrolled’, county officials said.
TEXAS: A testing point in Dallas. Texas continues to report record levels of new cases with another 5,747 confirmed Saturday, after a record high of 5,996 on Thursday and 5,707 on Friday
TEXAS: People wait in line at a testing facility in Texas as Houston ICUs are edging closer to reaching capacity
TEXAS: Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave bars in the state until midday on Friday to close down as officials scramble to contain outbreaks amid record spikes in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Pictured above is the crowded Handlebar in Houston, Texas last month
TEXAS: Rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers were ordered to close and outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments
Texas Governor Greg Abbott was this week forced to backtrack on the state’s reopening plans because of the resurgence of the virus.
Abbott on Friday ordered bars across the state to close and required restaurants to limit indoor seating capacity to 50 per cent, after the state had been among the first in the country to begin lifting its lockdown measures on May 1.
He also said rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers must close and that outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments.
Local governments within the state have since begun imposing restrictions again as they scramble to contain outbreaks.
In Galena Park, a small city of 10,000 people on the outskirts of Houston, officials have implemented a curfew starting on Saturday night that will run from 10pm to 5am daily.
TEXAS: The state is now backpedaling on reopening plans after cases have surged over the last couple of weeks
Abbott admitted in an interview with KVIA-TV Friday evening that the easing on lockdown had been too hasty.
‘If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars,’ he said.
Florida, another state that reopened its economy relatively quickly, also backtracked on reopening plans this week, ordering bar owners to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises on Friday.
This came as the state set yet another record for new daily infections Saturday – the third day this week a record was broken.
More than 9,600 new cases were reported, surpassing Friday’s record of almost 9,000.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has taken measures into his own hands as he announced plans to issue an emergency order closing down the county’s beaches during the Fourth of July weekend.
FLORIDA: Crowds of young people were seen not social distancing on the beach in Miami
FLORIDA: Miami residents are itching for a good time after months of lockdown as they are seen in line to enter a restaurant on Ocean Drive on Friday
FLORIDA: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced plans to issue an emergency order closing down the county’s beaches during the Fourth of July weekend
FLORIDA: The state set yet another record for new daily infections Saturday – the third day this week a record was broken
Gimenez warned that he may extend the shutdown if ‘conditions do not improve and people do not follow New Normal rules requiring masks to be worn always inside commercial establishments and outdoors when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible,’ in a statement about the order.
The mayor claimed he had seen both businesses and people ignoring safety measures against infection.
‘If people are not going to be responsible and protect themselves and others from this pandemic, then the government is forced to step in and restore common sense to save lives,’ Gimenez said.
Miami-Dade has the highest rate of infections of all counties in the state with more than 30,000 cases to date.
In LA County, health officials Saturday warned the state is facing a ‘critical moment’ for the pandemic and that reopening plans could also be in jeopardy if the current trends in cases continue.
FLORIDA: Florida set yet another record for new daily infections Saturday – the third day this week a record was broken with more than 9,600 new cases reported
This comes after the state reported 2,169 new coronavirus cases.
‘If we can’t find it in us to follow these mandates, including wearing face coverings and distancing when around others, we jeopardize our ability to move forward on the recovery journey,’ Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, said Saturday.
‘Our collective responsibility is to take immediate action, as individuals and businesses, to reverse the trends we are experiencing.’
Nevada, meanwhile, reported Saturday that there were nearly 1,100 new confirmed cases in one day, a total that is nearly double the state’s previous single-day record.
Meanwhile, many rural areas that appeared to have avoided the worst of the pandemic when it peaked in urban cities such as New York are also seeing surges of infections.
LOS ANGELES: People in downtown Los Angeles Thursday where officials said the state is facing a ‘critical moment’ for the pandemic
KANSAS: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced that a new citywide mandate requiring residents to wear face masks will go into effect Monday
MISSOURI: People wear masks at a rally in St. Louis, Missouri. Fears are mounting over outbreaks in rural areas of Missouri
In Kansas, where livestock outnumber people, daily cases have more than doubled in recent weeks with the seven-day average of new cases reaching 211 Friday.
This marks a sudden surge from just 96 back on June 5 and has led the US Army commander at Fort Riley in the state’s northeast to put soldiers on a nighttime curfew from the nearby restaurant and bar district.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has also ordered employees and patrons of businesses to wear masks.
‘Case numbers in Kansas City continue to rise, and we are taking all steps we can to ensure public health and safety,’ the Democrat said Friday.
Idaho and Oklahoma have seen similarly large percentage increases over the same three-week period.
MISSISSIPPI: ICU’s in some hospitals are already full sparking concerns as cases surge across the state
MISSOURI: In Kansas, where livestock outnumber people, daily cases have more than doubled in recent weeks with the seven-day average of new cases reaching 211 Friday
ARKANSAS: Hot Spring County, Arkansas, went from 46 cases to 415 – both spikes were attributed to outbreaks at prison
In Oklahoma, the seven-day average for daily new cases climbed from about 81 to 376 and Idaho’s jumped from around 40 to 160.
Many other rural counties in states including California, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Florida have seen their confirmed cases more than double in a week, from June 19 to Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Lassen County, California, went from just nine cases to 172, and Hot Spring County, Arkansas, went from 46 cases to 415 – both spikes were attributed to outbreaks at prisons.
Cases in McDonald County, Missouri, more than tripled after Tyson Foods conducted facility-wide testing at a chicken plant there.
Missouri itself is also seeing a worrying trend overall and officials in Kansas City, Kansas, and the county it’s in also decided to order masks be worn in public starting Tuesday.
With cases surging across the nation, Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday announced he was calling off his planned bus tour in Florida.
Some officials have put the spike down to expanded testing, but experts say it is signs the virus is making a comeback, as rising deaths and hospitalizations could not be impacted by testing.
Deaths are running at about 600 per day which is still lower than the peak of around 2,200 in mid-April.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that cases could actually be far higher than even official figures suggest.
Health officials said Friday they believe the true number of infections is about 10 times higher.
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