(Reuters) – The number of coronavirus patients in U.S. hospitals has breached 100,000, the highest level in eight months, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, as a resurgence of COVID-19 spurred by the highly contagious Delta variant strains the nation’s health care system.
A total of 101,433 COVID patients were hospitalized, according to data published on Friday morning.
U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past month. Over the past week, more than 500 people with COVID were admitted to hospitals each hour on average, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions
The United States reached its all-time peak for hospitalizations on Jan. 14 when there were over 142,000 coronavirus-infected patients in hospital beds, according to HHS.
As the vaccination campaign https://tmsnrt.rs/3tUM8ta rapidly expanded in early 2021, hospitalizations fell and hit a 2021 low of 16,000 on in late June.
However, COVID-19 admissions https://tmsnrt.rs/38neqUl rose suddenly in July as the Delta variant became the dominant strain. The U.S. South is the epicenter of the latest outbreak but hospitalizations are rising nationwide.
Graphic: U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations in past year – https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/xmvjooeeopr/chart.png
Florida has the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients, followed by Texas and California, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services https://healthdata.gov/dataset/COVID-19-Reported-Patient-Impact-and-Hospital-Capa/6xf2-c3ie. More than 95% of intensive care beds are currently occupied in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
The Delta variant, which is rapidly spreading among mostly the unvaccinated U.S. population, has also sent a record number of children to hospital. There are currently over 2,000 confirmed and suspected pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to HHS.
Three states – California, Florida and Texas – amount to about 32% of the total confirmed and suspected pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States.
Children currently make up about 2.3% of the nation’s COVID-19 hospitalizations. Kids under 12 are not eligible to receive the vaccine.
The country is hoping for vaccine authorization for younger children by autumn with the Pfizer Inc vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said this week that the nation could get COVID-19 under control by early next year if vaccinations ramp up.
The United States has given at least one dose of vaccine to about 61% of its population, according to the CDC.
The United States, which leads the world in the most deaths and cases https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi, has reported 38.5 million infections and over 634,000 deaths since the pandemic began last year, according to a Reuters tally.
(Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Michael Perry)