Mission, Cannes. (AP) — Cases of COVID-19 tripled in the US in two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that’s straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and exasperating pastors. Pushing into the field.
“Our employees, they are disappointed,” said Chad Nielsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, a Florida hospital that has had elective surgery and elective surgery after the number of mostly uninfected COVID-19 patients at its two campuses. Canceling procedures, which became 134. Above the low of 16 in mid-May.
“They’re tired. They’re thinking it’s happening all over again, and there’s some anger because we know it’s a largely preventable condition, and people aren’t taking advantage of vaccines.
Across the US, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, down from 13,700 on July 6, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Health officials blame the delta version and slow vaccination rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 56.2% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
In Louisiana, health officials reported 5,388 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday – the third-highest daily count since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Hospitalizations for the disease rose to more than 600 across the state by 844 since mid-June.
“It’s like seeing a car wreck before it happens,” said Dr. James Williams, clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at Texas Tech, who has recently started treating more COVID-19 patients. “None of us want to go through this again.”
He said the patients are younger – many in their 20s, 30s and 40s – and highly unrelated.
“People were just begging for it,” he said of the vaccine. “And remarkably it was put together within a year, which is amazing. People don’t even appreciate it. Within a year, we got a vaccine. And now they’re thinking, ‘Hmm, I don’t know if I will get it or not.'”
As head pastor of one of Missouri’s largest churches, Jeremy Johnson has heard the reasons congregations don’t want a COVID-19 vaccine. He wants them to know that it is not okay to get vaccinated, which is what the Bible urges.
“I think fear has a big impact,” said Johnson, whose Springfield-based church also has a campus in Nixas and another is about to open in the Republic. “The fear of trusting anything other than scripture, the fear of trusting anything other than a political party that they more readily follow. Fear of trusting science. We hear that: ‘I trust God, not science.’ But truth is science and God is not something you have to choose.
Now several churches in southwestern Missouri, such as Johnson’s Assembly of God-affiliated North Point Church, are hosting vaccination clinics. Meanwhile, nearly 200 church leaders have signed a statement urging Christians to get vaccinated, and on Wednesday announced a follow-up public service campaign.
According to a 2019 report from the Pew Research Center, opposition to vaccination is particularly strong among white evangelical Protestants, who make up more than a third of Missouri residents.
“We found the faith community to be very influential, very trustworthy, and to me that’s an answer to how you increase your vaccination rates,” said Springfield Mayor Ken McClure.
Two hospitals in his city are full of patients, reaching record and near-record pandemic highs. Steve Edwards, CEO of CoxHealth in Springfield, tweeted that the hospital has brought in 175 traveling nurses and as of Monday 46 more.
“Grateful for the help,” wrote Edwards, who previously tweeted that anyone spreading misinformation about the vaccine should “keep quiet.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that in New York City, workers at city hospitals and health clinics will need to be vaccinated or get tested weekly as officials report a surge in COVID-19 cases.
De Blasio’s order will not apply to teachers, police officers and other city employees, but it is part of the city’s intense focus on vaccination amid a rise in Delta-type infections.
The number of doses of vaccines administered daily in the city has fallen to less than 18,000, down from a peak of more than 100,000 in early April. About 65% of all adults are fully vaccinated, but the vaccination rate among black adults under the age of 45 is about 25%. About 45% of the workforce in the city’s public hospital system is black.
Meanwhile, caseloads have been rising in the city for weeks, and health officials say the variant makes up about 7 out of the 10 cases they index.
“We need to vaccinate our health care workers, and it’s getting dangerous with the Delta version,” de Blasio said. CNN.
Back in Louisiana, officials in New Orleans weighed in on a possible revival of at least some mitigation efforts that were eased as the disease subsided.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the city’s top health official, Dr Jennifer Avegno, were expected to make the announcement later on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Cantrell spokesman Beau Tidwell said “all options are on the table.”
Salter reported from St. Louis.