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Fauci warns of complacency as Omicron strains U.S. hospitals

Dr Anthony Fauci warned against complacency about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, saying the large number of cases could put a strain on hospitals despite signs of lesser severity.

The seven-day rolling average number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States reached 540,000, a new record for an eighth consecutive day on Tuesday. Hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients have increased by 45% in the past seven days to more than 111,000, a figure not seen since January 2021.

“(Omicron) could further stress our hospital system because a certain proportion of a large volume of cases, no matter what, is going to be serious,” Fauci told reporters at a White House briefing.

In Ohio, the state with the second per capita hospitalization rate for Covid-19 in the country after Delaware, staff at a small community hospital said they were struggling to cope with the influx of patients. Some patients have been hospitalized in the 12-bed intensive care unit (ICU) at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls for up to six weeks, most appearing to be suffering from the Delta variant, hospital staff said. . Patients as young as 30 are on ventilators and three patients have died in one day on multiple occasions over the past two months, said Susan Straus, the hospital’s director of intensive care. Dr William Paster said about 80% of Covid patients in hospital were unvaccinated and duty nurse Jodi Parsons said almost all patients who required intensive care were not vaccinated. Of those vaccinated, most survive the virus, even those with underlying health conditions, Paster said. “We’ve never seen numbers like we see it now, and it’s totally overwhelming,” said Justine Neuwirth, respiratory therapist at the hospital.

Other states are also feeling the pressure of increasing hospitalizations. Maryland is under a 30-day state of emergency as hospitalizations hit a new pandemic record on Tuesday. Delaware, Illinois, Ohio, Vermont and Washington, DC, have reported record numbers of hospitalized COVID patients in recent days. Nationwide deaths so far have remained stable at around 1,300 on average each day


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