Coronavirus hospitalizations are surging to last summer's levels
Coronavirus hospitalizations are surging once again, threatening to overburden some local health care systems just as badly as the waves that hit last spring and summer.
Why it matters: It's hard to argue that a person's vaccination status doesn't impact anyone but themselves when hospitals around the country are filling up.
Where it stands: More than 40,000 patients are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 infections.
- Florida is setting new COVID-19 hospitalization records, forcing the state's largest hospital systems to limit visitors, expand coronavirus units and prepare for staffing shortages, ABC News reports.
- Hospitalizations in this wave of the pandemic "clearly will surpass waves 1 and 2," tweeted Eric Topol, executive vice president of Scripps Research.
Between the lines: The vast majority of hospitalized coronavirus patients are unvaccinated.
- But a very small percentage of vaccinated people do develop COVID-19 infections, and small percentage of that small percentage do require hospitalization.
- As the number of overall cases continues to grow, so will the number of breakthrough hospitalizations — but not nearly as quickly as hospitalizations among the unvaccinated.
What we're watching: In many states where the virus is taking off, there's no political appetite at all for the mitigation policies that would help slow Delta's spread.
- That means the steep increase in hospitalizations can and will get worse — straining more health care systems and potentially disrupting entire communities' access to care.