ICU nears capacity, more mandates imposed in US amid Covid surge

Washington, Aug 29 : Intensive care units (ICU) at hospitals across the US are reaching their capacity, and more vaccine and mask mandates as the country is witnessing a resurgence of record Covid-19 cases and fatalities.

On August 27, the country reported 155,365 new cases of daily coronavirus, with the 14-day change seeing a 21 per cent rise, Xinhua news agency quoted The New York Times as saying in an update on Saturday.

The daily hospitalisations stood at 98,337, with the 14-day change a 28 per cent increase, while the daily death toll was 1,266, with the 14-day change a starling 95 per cent hike, newspaper added.

Due to the resurgence, New York State has ordered all students, staff and visitors inside school buildings to wear masks, a mandate that will not just apply to public school districts but also to private, charter and religious schools.

The policy was filed in an emergency regulation, out of the government's fear that the highly contagious Delta variant might spread as students head back to school.

New York City already had a mask mandate in place for city schools in advance of the first day on September 13.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has also ordered all Department of Education staff to get vaccinated by September 27.

Liberty University is enacting a campus-wide quarantine after reporting its highest rate of Covid-19 cases to date, just days after the Virginia-based evangelical institute reopened with no mitigation measures.

The university announced that it would be switching to online classes and ban all large indoor gatherings starting from Monday.

The shutdown, which will last through September 10, follows a large uptick in the number of coronavirus cases since students made their return to campus in mid-August.

The university's Covid-19 dashboard shows the number of active coronavirus cases increased from three on August 15 to 159, including 124 among students and 35 among faculty.

Meanwhile, some hotels have announced they will require proof of vaccination from guests and staff as an effort to curb the virus spread.

Accommodations such as PUBLIC Hotel, Equinox Hotel and Wythe Hotel, all in New York City, Urban Cowboy Lodge in New York State, and Pilgrim House in Provincetown, Massachusetts, are among the first in the US to announce that they will require evidence of vaccination, via a physical card or a digital verification, from their guests.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry trade group, has issued safety guidelines based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which includes encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

on August 27, Arizona surpassed 1 million Covid-19 cases, becoming the 13th state to reach the grim milestone while contending with yet another major spike in infections, according to the CDC's Covid-19 Data Tracker.

Now the state, like the rest of the country, is coping with a surge, mostly among the unvaccinated, and in conflicts over mask and vaccine mandates, it added.

Louisiana's hospital system is already straining due to large numbers of Covid-19 patients, and it must now tackle another challenge: Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the majority of the state on Sunday.

Approximately 68 per cent of all hospital beds in the state are filled, including 84 per cent of all ICU beds.

Texas hospitals are also overwhelmed with the latest surge in coronavirus patients.

There were a total of 13,932 patients hospitalised with Covid-19 in Texas and only 356 available ICU beds statewide.

As the pandemic is once again raging across the US, the country's overall caseload and death as of Sunday stood at 38,755,584 and 637,241.



Source: IANS