(NEW YORK) – As COVID-19 spreads across the country, the severity of the latest wave of the virus is reflected in headlines in city and state newspapers across the country.
The number of new COVID-19 cases is reaching levels previously seen in February, as the United States emerged from the winter surge.
The United States reported more than 100,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 for the first time since Feb. 6 on Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This latest surge is fueled by the highly contagious delta variant. A new internal CDC report first published by The Washington Post and confirmed by ABC News, said the variant may be more contagious than Ebola, Spanish flu, chicken pox and the common cold. It is also possible that the delta leads to more severe illness, although this is unconfirmed.
Based on its latest findings on the transmissibility of the delta variant, the CDC revised its mask guidelines earlier this week, now recommending that people in areas with substantial or high transmission levels — vaccinated or not — wear a mask in public and indoor places.
A sampling of newspaper headlines across the country on Saturday shed light on areas experiencing spikes in cases and overwhelmed hospitals, and how they are responding.
“Florida is the epicenter,” reads the Tampa Bay Times, reporting that the state has had the most cases and hospitalizations in the United States over the past week. On Saturday, Florida reported its largest one-day increase in cases since the pandemic began.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported a spike in cases in Hawaii that represented the highest daily case count since the start of the pandemic.
In Louisiana, another hotspot, The Advocate reported that hospitals across the state are “overwhelmed again”, as it experiences its fourth wave of the virus.
Mississippi also has overwhelmed hospitals. “The largest intensive care unit in the state is full,” the Clarion-Ledger reported, referring to the intensive care unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
Hospitalizations are rising at East Alabama Medical Center, from eight at the start of the month to 34 on Friday, the Opelika-Auburn News reported.
The Houston Chronicle detailed how Texas overtook New York in COVID-19 deaths to have the nation’s second-highest death toll, “a feat experts say was driven by an inability to control transmission. of the virus here,” the newspaper reports.
As cases rise rapidly, restrictions are returning to some areas. The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported that the city reissued an indoor mask mandate due to its rise to prominence, along with the headline. “The Mask Mandate is back in the NO” – one of many cities and counties to do so in recent days.
“Mask recommendations are increasing in Maine,” the Kennebec Journal reported in Augusta.
‘State emphasizes need for vaccines,’ read Saturday’s headline in The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as health officials urged residents to get vaccinated and boost the rate relatively low state vaccination.
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