Some US hospitals overwhelmed going into Thanksgiving holiday: Latest COVID-19 updates




  • In Business
  • 2021-11-24 15:32:52Z
  • By USA TODAY
 

As families prepare to gather over the Thanksgiving holiday, some hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages, and surges tied to holiday gatherings could make it worse.

A potentially weekslong closure of a New York emergency department Monday was sparked by a staffing shortage after unvaccinated health care workers were not allowed to continue work due to a state rule. Mount Sinai South Nassau's emergency room in Long Beach will direct patients to its Oceanside emergency department.

Officials in Denver said hospitals are filling up, with about 80% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 being unvaccinated, 9News reported. Dr. Robin Wittenstein, CEO of Denver Health, told the outlet their system is on the "brink of collapse."

"We are here today because too many people chose not to get vaccinated even though they were eligible," said Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Bob McDonald.

The University of Iowa's hospital is also worried about hardship as COVID and flu cases are on the rise. In Dubuque County, hospitalizations for COVID-19 as high as they were a year ago before vaccines were available.

"It's cold now, and people are going to be indoors, and everyone's tired of this," Chief Medical Officer Theresa Brennan said. "People are hungry for human contact. And because of that, it's likely people are going to be less strict about gathering, about masking, about distancing than they were last year."

Hospitals in the cold Upper Midwest, especially Michigan and Minnesota, are also filled with COVID-19 patients who are mostly unvaccinated.

For the holidays, "We would encourage people who gather to do so safely after they've been fully vaccinated, as we've been saying for months now," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also in the news:

►Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett urged residents to get a COVID-19 booster shot as cases are on the rise, with an average of 267 cases per day and about three deaths per day in the county.

►Steve Burton, who starred on "General Hospital" for over 30 years, was let go from the show because he did not comply with a vaccine mandate, he announced on Instagram.

????Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 47 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 773,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 258 million cases and 5.1 million deaths. More than 196 million Americans - 59% of the population - are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

????What we're reading: COVID has pushed a decades-long Michigan emergency medical service workers shortage into a crisis. How much longer before people call 911 and it'll take too long for help to arrive, if it ever does at all?

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