Fauci warns against complacency as Omicron strains US hospitals
Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned against complacency about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, saying the sheer number of cases could strain hospitals despite signs of lower severity.
The rolling seven-day average number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States hit 540,000, a new high for an eighth consecutive day on Tuesday. Hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients have risen 45% in the past seven days and stand at over 111,000, a figure not seen since January 2021.
“(Omicron) could still stress our hospital system because a certain proportion of a large volume of cases, no matter what, are going to be severe,” Fauci told reporters at a White House briefing.
In Ohio, the state with the second-highest per capita rate of Covid-19 hospitalizations in the country after Delaware, staff at a small community hospital said they are struggling to cope with the influx of patients. Some patients have been in the 12-bed intensive care unit (ICU) at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls for as many as six weeks, with 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 a day on multiple occasions in the past couple of months, said Susan Straus, the hospital’s critical care director. Doctor William Paster said roughly 80% of Covid patients at the hospital were unvaccinated and ward nurse Jodi Parsons said nearly all patients…