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COVID is "Exploding" in These 5 States

"We've got an incredibly contagious variant...now spreading throughout the whole nation," said Dr. Ashish Jha.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
"We've got an incredibly contagious variant, the Delta variant, now spreading throughout the whole nation," said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, on the "COVID: What Comes Next" podcast. "Infection numbers are going up pretty much in every state in the country, but in states that have low vaccination numbers and not a lot of public health restrictions, those numbers are exploding. And what's tragic about that is we have something that can stop, right? Which is vaccines." So where is COVID exploding exactly? Read on for the 5 states Jha mentioned—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.

1

Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida (US)
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"Florida is just in terrible shape, more infections and hospitalizations right now than they had at any point in the pandemic," said Jha. Along with hitting hospitalization records, "more Florida children were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday than in any other state, reflecting a rapid rise in serious illness among an age group considered to be at the lowest risk of severe outcomes from the disease and many still not eligible for the vaccine," reports the Miami Herald. "A total of 46 pediatric patients were admitted to a Florida hospital with a confirmed infection while an additional 22 were hospitalized with a suspected case, according to the federal government's hospital capacity data. Only Texas reported a higher total number of pediatric patients in hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 on Tuesday—142 children—compared to 135 in Florida."

2

Texas

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"Officials at the state health department are concerned about the exponential growth in hospitalizations due to coronavirus over the past month. More than 7,600 people are currently in the hospital with coronavirus in Texas," reports KERA News. "Hospitalizations due to coronavirus in North Texas have increased 292% over the past month, according to data from UT-Southwestern Medical Center. Chief State Epidemiologist Jennifer Shuford said she and others at the Texas Department of State Health Services are concerned." "We've been living this pandemic now for a year and a half," Shuford said. "We thought we had seen the worst of it with those first two pandemic waves that we experienced. This third wave that we're having right now in Texas is showing a very steep increase in cases and hospitalizations, as great or even steeper than what we were seeing with those first two waves."

3

Louisiana

Pubs and bars with neon lights in the French Quarter,
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"Demand for the shots has nearly quadrupled in recent weeks in Louisiana, a promising glimmer that the deadly reality of the virus might be breaking through a logjam of misunderstanding and misinformation," reports the NY Times. "The new push for vaccinations has been driven by an explosion in coronavirus cases. But it takes time for vaccines to bolster immune systems, and the state — which now leads the country in new cases — could still be weeks away from relief. Hospitals are overflowing with more Covid-19 patients than ever before. Even children's hospitals have packed intensive care units. And the Delta variant has alarmed doctors, who described seeing patients in their 20s and 30s rapidly declining and dying."

RELATED: I'm a Doctor and Here's How to Not Catch Delta

4

Missouri

St. Louis downtown city skyline at twilight.
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"Missouri recorded more than 3,000 COVID cases for the second straight day and third time in a week, while the average number of hospitalizations eclipsed 2,000 patients for the first time since January," reports Fox 2. "According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 580,867 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 3,058 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 9,798 total deaths as of Thursday, Aug. 5, an increase of 21 over yesterday. That's a case fatality rate of 1.69%."

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5

Arkansas

Arkansas flag flying high beside the State Capitol Building
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"Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he regrets approving a statewide ban on face mask mandates earlier this year and has called the state Legislature into a special session in an effort to amend the law," reports CNN. "In hindsight, I wish that had not become law," Hutchinson said during a news conference. "But it is the law, and the only chance we have is either to amend it or for the courts to say that it has an unconstitutional foundation." "The governor's comments — a shift from his earlier defense of the measure — reflect the changing public health landscape across the US brought on by the highly transmissible Delta variant. On Tuesday, for the first time since February, more than 50,000 hospital beds across the country were occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to new data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. That number is more than triple what it was a month ago."

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6

How to Stay Safe Out There

Brunette woman wearing a KN95 FPP2 mask.
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Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek