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Hospitals dealing with more COVID-19 patients

Some places are seeing different increases than others, and health experts point to the Delta variant.
Hospital hallway
Posted at 10:08 PM, Aug 04, 2021

With high rates of COVID-19 transmission in many parts of the country, doctors and nurses are working hard on the front lines. 

The CDC reported hospitalizations increasing in nearly every state. 

"Right now the biggest thing we fight is the frustration when patients come in who aren't vaccinated and they get sick," said Dr. Todd Rice, the director of the medical ICU at Vanderbilt Medical Center. 

Some places are seeing different increases than others; health experts are pointing to the Delta variant. 

"In the hot spots, currently the number of people hospitalized and needing intensive unit care is getting equivalent or reaching what previous surges have done. That's not everywhere, but we know that in certain places that can happen, and if it can happen there, it can happen in other places too," said Dr. William

Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Federal data shows higher rates of ICU bed usage for COVID-19 in places like Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Alabama, Utah and Nevada on Wednesday. 

"With the increase everywhere, we're worried that those increases could keep going higher and create more hotspots here and there. It won't be uniform, but we have the potential for more hospitalizations all across the country," said Schaffner. 

Louisiana reported its highest hospitalization, a spokesperson saying it was at a dangerous level and noting most hospitals canceled or delayed non-emergency procedures that need an overnight stay. 

Missouri reported its health care system was no doubt being strained, but not at peak hospitalizations. 

While Florida passed its previous one day hospitalization totals. Some hospitals there have paused elective surgeries, while others emphasized they’re still ready to treat patients.

"There is no question governor that our ERs are full and we are busy that we have the most COVID patients that we've ever had through the pandemic but we are a large hospital we have great teams of physician and nurses and respiratory therapists all trained and focused on our COVID patients as well as our non-COVID patients," said John Couris, the CEO of Tampa General Hospital.

Hospitals across the country have said the majority of their COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated, as they point to the vaccine as the best line of defense still.

"I think we are hoping we can find ins to people who are hesitant to get vaccinated this is a better option than getting COVID," said Dr. Rice.

This story was originally reported by Haley Bull on