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Virus Experts Say If You Live Here, Use Caution

The Delta variant is stalking America.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

We are in the middle of a fourth wave of coronavirus and in many ways it resembles the pandemic before vaccines, with cases above 100,000 a day and hospitals filling beyond capacity in some states. The difference? The sickest people are unvaccinated. Yet the new Delta variant can infect anyone. And where you are matters, as areas of high transmissibility are leading to more cases. Read on to see 5 states that have experts most worried right now—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.


Alabama Remains the Least Vaccinated State

Montgomery, Alabama

Only 36% of Alabamans are vaccinated and it's a shame because: "The Alabama Department of Public Health has released new data to show just how effective vaccinations are against COVID-19," reports WSFA. "94.1% of all COVID-19 deaths were among those who were not vaccinated." "Current data shows that fully vaccinated persons who get COVID-19 are much less likely to get severely ill, go to the hospital, or die from COVID-19," the health department said. "The COVID-19 vaccines are working."


Florida is Still the "Epicenter," Says Vaccine Expert

West Palm Beach, Florida (US)

Cases may be plateauing in the South, but for unvaccinated kids, they are expected to go up. Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the data shows "there is evidence that the epidemic is starting to slow and that day over day cases are starting to decline. And that's showing up in the natural national trends now Florida, which has been the epicenter of the epidemic in this country. If you look across different age categories in Florida, every age category shows the declining number of cases day over day, except for school aged kids, kids ages six to 19. That's the only category that's still expanding and expanding very quickly because what's happening is, they're opening schools earlier in the South schools open earlier in the South against the backdrop of still a lot of prevalence and the infection's getting into schools and it's proving to be hard to control the schools."

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Hawaii is Telling Visitors Not to Come

It's "a risky time to be traveling right now," said Hawaii's Governor David Ige at a press conference. "I encourage everyone to restrict and curtail travel to Hawaii," Ige said. "It's not a good time to travel to the islands." "Ige's warning comes as Hawaii continues to see a rise in COVID cases and hospitals have reached capacity. There have been more than 9,300 new cases in the past two weeks, according to the state's health department. The majority of new cases have been in Oahu, one of the most popular Hawaiian destinations for travelers," according to CBS News. "We are seeing more COVID patients in our hospitals and the ICUs are filling up," Ige said on Monday. "We know that we need to take action now in order to reduce the spread of COVID and ensure that our hospitals are not overrun."

RELATED: You'll Now Need a Vaccine to Enter Here


Mississippi Pediatric Clinics are "Overrun"

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.

"Coronavirus cases in children have surged over the last month — from around 38,000 at the end of July to more than 180,000 last week, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics," reports CBS News. "In Mississippi alone, three weeks into the school year, COVID-19's toll on kids is staggering. Almost 12,000 students have tested positive for the virus, with nearly 29,000 now quarantined. Sadder still is M'Kayla Robinson's COVID story. The 13-year-old eighth grader started feeling sick on Wednesday, August 11, and died from COVID that Saturday." Only 37% of people in the state are vaccinated.


Wyoming Hospitals Are "Challenged"

Sunrise at Devils Tower, Wyoming

"After months of widespread availability, just 34.8% of Wyoming's total population have been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Wyoming Department of Health. As for Laramie County residents, the number is slightly higher at 41.9%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," reports Wyoming News. "I would hope, as well, that as folks see what COVID is doing with their friends and family and neighbors, and what it's challenging our hospital with here in Cheyenne and Laramie County, that that would also be a driver for them to go and get a shot," said Dale Steenbergen, president and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Be Back to "Normal"


How to Stay Safe Out There

Doctor's gloved hands using cotton before vaccine.

No matter where you live: 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