When it comes to the climbing metric, the US is “not in a good place,” director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a virtual Q&A on Wednesday. Health experts have pushed measures against the virus to bring the baseline of infections down before colder months drove them back up. But rising records of cases and hospitalizations are making up “a bad recipe for a tough time ahead,” Fauci said.
In the Midwest, residents are being impacted by the rising cases with spiking rates of hospitalizations.
Indiana and Wisconsin reported their peak levels of coronavirus hospitalizations. And Kansas saw the most ICU hospitalizations of the virus in one day, the same day the state surpassed 1,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
“Each one of these Kansans was someone’s child, parent, or grandparent,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a release. “They were part of a community.”
Mask mandates lower hospitalizations, study says
Mask mandates may be a key strategy to lowering rates of hospitalization, according to the findings of a study from Vanderbilt School of Medicine.
In hospitals where more than 75% of the patients came from counties that required masks, rates of hospitalizations did not rise between July and October, while hospitals with fewer than 25% of patients from those counties saw an increase over 200%.
Other mitigation factors likely came into play, as areas with mask requirements are more likely to have residents who follow other mitigation strategies, the authors wrote.
“The good news is that we have learned a great deal since the beginning of the pandemic,” they said. “An important takeaway from this analysis is that areas with virus mitigation strategies … have seen lower growth in hospitalizations since the summer months; hospitals in these areas are in a much better position to serve the entire spectrum of community health needs, not just COVID-19 patients.”
As the weather continues to grow colder, Fauci said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday that he supports a national mask mandate.
“We’re going to have many more hospitalizations and that will inevitably lead to more deaths. So, this is an untenable situation. That’s the reason why I say we have got to do these things,” Fauci said.
While he is in support of a mask mandate, Fauci said he doesn’t think it will happen nationally “because it might not come from the White House to do it.”
States concerned over alarming hospitalization rates
Many state leaders are putting measures