Missouri and Arkansas make up America’s new Covid epicenter

Missouri and Arkansas make up America’s new Covid epicenter
In several counties of the two states, virus caseloads and hospitalizations have reached levels not seen since their peaks last winter

Missouri et Arkansas are currently facing the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the United States, becoming the country’s new virus epicenter.

In several counties in the two states, coronavirus caseloads and hospitalisations have reached levels not seen since their peaks last winter. Officials say the infections are being driven by the Delta variant, a highly contagious strain of the virus that now makes up most of the country’s cases.

“We are truly in a very dangerous predicament,” Mayor Ken McClure of Springfield, Missouri, Raconté Radio Nationale Publique. “While we are one of the unfortunate few early hot spots of the Delta variant, we are not giving up.”

Cases in both states have skyrocketed in the past month. According to data compiled by Le New York Times, Arkansas has gone from a seven-day average of about 230 cases per day in late June to about 1,020 cette semaine. In Missouri, that number has gone from 640 à 1,980.

Par conséquent, hospitals in Springfield are becoming overwhelmed, running short of nurses and ventilators. Mercy Hospital Springfield has announced it’s adding a sixth Covid-19 unit to treat the influx of patients.

The outbreaks have grown so severe that Chicago a émis un travel warning La semaine dernière, specifically for Missouri and Arkansas.

“After several weeks with no states on its Travel Advisory, Missouri and Arkansas have been added back to the list amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in some regions of the country,” the city said on its website. “Any unvaccinated people traveling from Missouri or Arkansas are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival.”

Vaccination rates are low in both states. In Missouri, seul 57.6 per cent of adults have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. En Arkansas, seul 54.9 per cent have gotten a shot.

“Begging people to take the vaccine while there is still time," tweeté Steve Edwards, CEO of the Missouri hospital network CoxHealth. “If you could see the exhaustion in the eyes of our nurses who keep zipping up body bags, we beg you.”

As other states begin to reemerge from the pandemic – particularly in regions where vaccination rates are higher – in the Ozarks region the crisis is far from over.

“I think we were all hoping that we wouldn’t see Covid much this summer, but it is definitely not the fact here in Springfield,” Dr William Sistrunk, an infectious disease expert at Mercy Hospital, Raconté Radio Nationale Publique.

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