The other states are: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont, according to HHS.
In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he will ask hospitals to temporarily halt non-urgent procedures in an effort to recruit staff to help people who need help immediately.
“This is one way to increase the ability to handle this omicron surge, obviously,” Inslee said. “Therefore, we will be asking hospitals to pause non-urgent procedures – so that a significant amount of capacity and staff can be dedicated to meeting emergency needs, and the people who need them now.”
Inslee said the new requirement is “not just for Omicron patients, but for heart attack victims, car accident victims, and gunshot victims, all of whom need help right now.”
In Kentucky, hospitals have less than 10% of remaining capacity in intensive care units, according to data Wednesday from Health and Human Services.
“I really had to call up the National Guard,” Governor Andy Beshear during a news conference Thursday. “And this next person in a car accident may not get the care they need. So get that person vaccinated.”
“The problem is we now have hospitals where we don’t have enough nurses to take care of incoming patients, Covid patients and non-Covid patients,” Spencer Laura Coates told CNN reporter on Wednesday.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, US general surgeon, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN Thursday that he thinks the next few weeks are going to be tough.
“We will continue to see large numbers of cases. Our hospital systems in parts of the country are strained and that will continue, which is why the President announced that an additional thousand members of the Department of Defense will support and strengthen hospital systems across the country and the millions of pieces of protective equipment that we have sent and will continue to send to systems hospitals.”
“So there are a few tough weeks ahead. But I think there will be better days on the other side,” he said.
Hospitalizations from superinfection are increasing, but the risks of not being vaccinated are higher
Fully vaccinated people represent a growing proportion of people hospitalized with Covid-19 – but hospitalizations among people who received a booster dose remain rare, and the gap in risk by vaccination status was wide.
Between April and July 2021, before the Omicron variant emerged, more than 90% of Covid-19 hospital admissions were among people who had not been vaccinated or had been partially vaccinated, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But a sample of data collected by CNN suggests that number has fallen to between 60% and 75% in recent days and months:
• In Pennsylvania, about 75% of Covid-19 hospital admissions between September and early December 2021 were among people not fully vaccinated, according to data from the state health department.
• In New York, about 61% of Covid-19 hospital admissions during the week ending January 2 were among people not fully vaccinated, according to state health department data.
• Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest health care system, reported last week that 62% of COVID-19 patients at its eight hospitals had not received a vaccination.
While fully vaccinated people account for a larger proportion of Covid-19 hospital admissions, multiple accounts indicate that those fully vaccinated and boosted account for a small share.
The CDC did not respond to CNN’s multiple requests for data on the share of Covid-19 hospitals by vaccination status.
The agency publishes data on its website regarding relative risks by vaccination status. Cumulatively, the risk of hospitalization was eight times higher for unvaccinated people than for fully vaccinated people. But in the last week of November, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed hospitalization rates were about 17 times higher for unvaccinated people than for fully vaccinated people.
CDC to update mask guidelines
New Covid-19 cases in the United States have averaged more than 771,580 per day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University data, more than three times the average peak last winter (251,987 on January 11, 2021) and more than 4.5 times the peak of the delta-driven boom (166,347 on September 1).
Center for Disease Control Plans to update information about mask wearing, including the different levels of protection that different masks — such as cloth, surgery or N95 — offer against the spread of Covid-19, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky said during a virtual White House briefing Wednesday. .
In general, it’s important for people to wear whatever face mask they have access to, “but Omicron has changed things a little bit because it’s so transmissible that we know masks are more important,” Laurie Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials told CNN. .
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Deidre McPhillips, Naomi Thomas, Virginia Langmaid, Christina Maxuris, Kate Sullivan, William Reilly, Claudia Dominguez and Andy Rose contributed to this report.