Covid could kill 115k more people in US in 4 weeks

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The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) could kill another 115,000 people in the United States in four weeks, a new model projects, amid the country leading the world in total deaths.

The country recently topped 20.3 million cases, nearly double the amount of any other country in the world, as the country continues to have the most deaths of any country, now at over 349,000, according to Johns Hopkins University global tracker of Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which previously predicted daily deaths would surge from 765 to 3,000 by late December, has projected 115,000 could die in the next four weeks. By comparison, 77,500 people in the United States died of Covid-19 in December, the deadliest month so far.

The United States reported Saturday 160,606 new COVID-19 cases in the past day amid record levels of hospitalizations, and new British variant in three states.

Along with the new cases, the country also reported 2,051 new deaths Friday. The number of new cases was down Friday from over 220,000 new cases reported Thursday, and the number of new deaths was down from 3,149 reported Thursday, but the hospitalized population remains at record levels.

Between Christmas and New Year’s 385 per 1 million people were hospitalized, according to The COVID Tracking Project, which estimates 125,057 are currently hospitalized, according to weekly average.

Meanwhile, the latest COVID-19 relief package scaled back on relief for hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers from $35 billion previously proposed to $3 billion.

“The surge in cases is ongoing,” American Hospital Association’s Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said. “We anticipate we will need additional funding.”

In Alabama, the hospital population is higher than the national average, Covid-19 Tracking Project data shows.

“I think we are approaching the catastrophe that we’ve all feared,” Alabama Hospital Association President Dr. Don Williamson said on Saturday.

Williamson said that important procedures were being delayed because hospitals are so crowded.

“Here we’re not talking about plastic surgery, we’re talking about surgeries such as hip replacements,” he said. “I know of examples where scheduled cancer surgeries have had to be delayed because of the growing stress on the system.”

Williamson also said that the problem was not so much space as it was limited staff since almost double the staff is required to handle Covid-19 care as opposed to other emergency services. CURRENTPH

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