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Only Eight ICU Beds Left in Arkansas, Texas Hospitals Near Capacity

Covid cases and deaths are surging. Population-adjusted charts show where, and the results are hardly surprising.
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New Covid Cases Per Million Top 15 2021-08-09

Congratulations to Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and Texas for leading the nation in new covid cases per million population.

Data from Worldometers.

New Deaths Per Million

New Covid Deaths Per Million Top 15 2021-08-09

Congratulations to Louisiana and Mississippi for being 1-2 in boths cases and deaths per million. 

Texas need to try harder. It was only number 5 and 8. 

Only Eight ICU Beds in Arkansas

People in Their 20s are on Ventilators

In Texas, Hospitals Are Near Capacity as Covid-19 Surges Again.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday asked hospitals to delay elective medical procedures, as rising Covid-19 cases bring hospitals in many parts of the nation’s second-largest state to capacity.

In Austin, city and county officials used an emergency alert system over the weekend to text and call residents with the warning that the hospital situation is critical, as the number of available intensive care unit beds in a metro area of more than two million residents dwindled to single digits. In Houston, hospitals are into surge capacity and local officials tracking the city’s wastewater system are finding evidence of higher-than-ever levels of Covid-19.

The upswing in Texas Covid-19 cases mirrors that of other nearby states as the Delta variant of the virus surges through southern states with relatively low vaccination rates. 

William McKeon, chief executive of Houston’s Texas Medical Center, a group of 60 hospitals that comprise the world’s largest medical district, said the current surge of Covid-19 patients has risen far faster than previous ones and he believes it will get worse. The number of Covid-19 hospitalizations has increased to about 9,500 this week, approaching a previous high of about 14,000 in January. People in their 20s are on ventilators, Mr. McKeon said.

All of [the hospitals] are saying the same thing: We have never seen a surge like this before,” he said. “We have never seen them sicker when they walk through the door. We have never seen them younger. And they just keep coming.”

Wastewater Tracking

Houston, the country’s fourth-largest city with 2.3 million people, has developed a sophisticated system of tracking Covid-19 in the city’s sewer system, through weekly testing at 38 city wastewater plants. Tracking began during the first major surge of the virus, in July 2020. Last week, it measured 320% of the Covid-19 levels seen then—the highest, by far, since the pandemic began.

“The wastewater is a bellwether,” said Loren Hopkins, chief environmental science officer for the Houston Health Department, who said Covid-19 usually registers in wastewater a week or more before a person tests positive for the virus. “The numbers really are exponentially increasing.”

The wastewater data can be more accurate than testing data, because it registers Covid-19 being shed by people who may be asymptomatic or never get tested, Dr. Hopkins said. Local health officials are using it to target where to send educational and vaccine outreach, and are doing sampling at specific manholes to track Covid-19 rates in schools.

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But the faith Milton has in his hypothesis of his immune system vs mountains of real data is problematic. 

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