South Korea reported over 2,000 coronavirus cases last month, surpassing the daily record of 2,000 set just one day ago when officials expressed cautious optimism that infections might slow down.
Wednesday’s 2,025 cases marked the 57th consecutive day with at least 1,000 cases. There are fears transmissions could get worse as the country approaches its largest holiday of the year.
Officials face a slow vaccine rollout, and a decline in public vigilance. This is despite the strictest social distancing rules that are not applied in Seoul or other large population centers. Private social gatherings of three people or more are prohibited after 6 p.m.
The virus could be more prevalent during the Chuseok holidays in Korea, which are the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving. During these holidays millions of people travel across the country to visit relatives.
MELBOURNE (Australia) — Australia’s Victoria state has reported its first COVID-19 death this year. The government admits that coronavirus infection rates will continue rising.
Two deaths were reported by the state Wednesday, their first since Oct. 18. Four deaths were reported by New South Wales, the state’s neighbor. This brings the total death toll from the delta variant epidemic that began in June to 102.
Victoria and New South Wales have been locked down and are working together to get their residents vaccinated in order to stop the spread of the disease.
On Wednesday, 120 new infections were reported. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews stated that these cases will not decrease. They will go up.”
New South Wales had 1,116 cases of infection in the last 24-hours.
RICHLAND (Wash.) Workers at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington state will need to submit proof of coronavirus vaccination to be allowed onto the site.
The Tri-City Herald reports Monday’s announcement covers approximately 11,000 workers from the Department of Energy and contractors. Many workers may be required to comply before mid-September.
Visitors to the site with business will also need to show proof of vaccinations or negative viruses tests within the last three days.
Two-thirds of the nation’s plutonium production at Hanford was done during World War II, and Cold War. Each year, the cleanup of the contaminated sites is estimated to cost $2.5 billion.
ATLANTA — Coronavirus infections are now being detected in more Georgians than ever. The seven-day rolling average of positive tests for coronavirus infections rose to 9,641 per hour Tuesday, surpassing the Jan. 11 record of 9,635
Officials claim that the pandemic is now affecting children. Kathleen Toomey, Public Health Commissioner, said Monday that the number of cases has risen dramatically since August’s opening of schools.
Toomey states that “we are seeing a significant amount of cases among school-aged kids, and the number has almost quadrupled in the last few weeks with the sharpest rise — the greatest number — in children aged between 11 and 17.”
According to her, public health officials monitored more than 170 outbreaks in the state last week, which is the highest total since the pandemic. More than half of the outbreaks were in schools.
HILO (Hawaii) — Due to a rise in COVID-19-related cases, the largest hospital on Hawaii’s Big Island is now operating at 120% capacity.
According to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 38 people are being treated at Hilo Medical Center for the disease caused by coronavirus. Ten of these patients are in the intensive care unit.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said that it is the largest hospital in the island and therefore cannot divert patients.
She said that the hospital has a plan in place for all who come for care. The hospital has opened an additional 16-bed unit in its extended care facility.
According to the hospital, it is constantly looking for new locations on its campus that can care for patients.
ANCHORAGE (Alaska) — The hospital system in Alaska is being further strained by an increase in COVID-19 patient hospitalizations. It is a “very serious crisis,” according to one health official, and he worries about the next few weeks.
According to the state health department, hospitals saw a record number of 152 COVID-19-positive patients on Tuesday. This is higher than previous records in December.
Jared Kosin, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, told the Anchorage Daily news that the recent increase in coronavirus infection rates has not slowed down.
On Tuesday, 771 out of 1,200 state-owned hospital beds had been filled. All but 26 of the 174 intensive care beds were filled.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota officials have reopened four free coronavirus testing locations as the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus continues to increase demand.
These reopened sites include St. Paul and Bloomington. They also augment existing sites in Brooklyn Park, and at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. St. Cloud and Mankato will resume testing this week.
As the number of virus cases continues to rise across the state, hospitals are nearing full capacity. This means that both ICU beds and all hospital beds are more than 90% occupied.
SIOUX FALLS (S.D. South Dakota Governor. Kristi Noem activated nine soldiers of the state National Guard in response to a spike of infections.
The average number of infected people has increased by threefold over the past two weeks. Johns Hopkins University researchers estimate that 1 in 570 South Dakotans have tested positive for the virus in the last week. The virus has been most severe in the western region of the state. Meade County hosted the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier in the month. It is the most affected county in the state for new cases per head.
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has called in 220 federally-funded medical personnel and mobilized 150 Idaho National Guard soldiers in response to a flood of COVID-19 patients that are overtaking state hospitals.
Tuesday’s remarks by the Republican governor were a desperate effort to prevent the state from enacting for the first time ever statewide crisis standards. This could lead to medical professionals having to make decisions about who will live and who will die.
In the last week, there have been approximately 1,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed each day. Most of these were unvaccinated. According to Little, there were only four beds in an ICU across the state on Tuesday.
LANSING (Mich.) — A federal judge stopped Western Michigan University’s imposition of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on four female soccer players. He ruled that they will prevail over claims that it violates their constitutional religious freedoms.
The temporary restraining orders were issued by Paul Maloney, Grand Rapids District Judge. This was on the same day that the school had set the deadline for athletes to receive their first shot. While the university did not have the opportunity to respond to the lawsuit he said that WMU’s requirement for vaccinations for student athletes was not justified by compelling interest and was not narrowly tailored.
He set a Sept. 9 hearing for a temporary injunction.
Western does not require students or employees to be vaccinated, unlike other Michigan universities. However, those who aren’t vaccinated must still undergo coronavirus testing every week. Four athletes claimed they were denied religious exemptions from being able to participate in the games without receiving a dose.
Kalamazoo-based school denies commenting on ongoing litigation.
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox cast doubts on Tuesday’s efficacy for mask-wearing as health leaders made passionate pleas for residents to get vaccinated.
Cox stated that his administration encourages people to wear masks, but it is not clear if they are effective against highly contagious coronavirus delta variant.
Cox stated that “masks are not as efficient as most pro-mask people are arguing.” “We know they are not,” Cox said.
Cox’s remarks contradict earlier statements made at the news conference by the state epidemiologist, state hospital leaders and others who made emotional pleas to the public for universal masking and vaccinations.
A new state law prohibits school masks for the current school year. However, students may choose to cover their faces if they so desire.
HELENA (Mont. — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Montana Governor, announced Tuesday that a rule was in place encouraging schools to allow parents to decide whether children should wear masks at school. This follows several large districts across the state having implemented mask requirements for all students.
Gianforte made this announcement Monday after the U.S. Department of Education opened civil rights investigations in five states that had banned or restricted the use of masks in schools. The investigation concluded that the policies could be discriminatory against students with disabilities and health conditions.
Schools should take into account “parental concerns” when adopting mandates to use masks. Parents should be able to opt out of mandates related to health for a variety of reasons, including developmental and physical needs as well as religious beliefs and moral convictions.
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has called in 220 federally-funded medical personnel and mobilized 150 Idaho National Guard soldiers in response to an influx of COVID-19 patients who have overwhelmed the state’s hospitals.
According to the Republican governor, the move is a last-ditch effort not to activate for the first time statewide emergency standards of care. This could force medical professionals into making decisions about who lives or dies.
In the last week, there were approximately 1,000 new cases confirmed each day. Most of these cases were unvaccinated. According to Little, there were only four beds in an ICU across the state on Tuesday.
A U.S. Department of Defense medical team of 20 personnel has been deployed to northern Idaho. This is where the vaccination rate is among the lowest in the country.
JACKSON (Miss.) Roger Wicker, a Republican Senator from Mississippi, says he is fully recovered from COVID-19.
Wicker, 70 years old, said he was looking forward to visiting Mississippi this week. Wicker was one of three senators to announce that they were positive for coronavirus on August 19. Other senators were Angus King, a 77-year old independent from Maine, and John Hickenlooper, a 69-year-old Democrat from Colorado. All three were vaccinated.
Hickenlooper stated Friday that he was suffering from a mild case. King said Tuesday that he is now well, even though he wasn’t feeling great during the worst part of his illness.
HONOLULU — Hawaii’s health care officials are worried about the lack of oxygen due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, hospital officials have decided to cancel all non-emergency procedures that are not urgent in order to preserve oxygen supplies. Hilton Raethel is the president and CEO of Healthcare Association of Hawaii. He says that there is a shortage of oxygen containers worldwide for transporting to the islands.
Two liquid oxygen plants in Hawaii have been converted to making medical gas. Raethel claims that mainland tank orders have been backlogged for several months. Hawaii Pacific Health, which oversees many hospitals in the state has directed staff to cancel elective procedures requiring oxygen.
HARRISBURG (Pa.) — Governor. Tom Wolf announced that masks would be required in all Pennsylvania K-12 schools beginning Sept. 7.
The masking order applies to both public and private schools, as well as child care facilities.
Two statewide teacher’s unions in Pennsylvania had asked K-12 schools for masks, citing the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Masks are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for teachers, students, and staff.
Wolf is responding to a rising coronavirus epidemic in the state, which is filling hospitals just as students return from class.
Pennsylvania has more than 3200 daily confirmed infections per day, 20 times more than in July. Over 1,700 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since last month, sevenfold more than the previous month. Two weeks ago, death rates doubled to 20 per day.
OMAHA (Neb. Over the past two weeks, Nebraska has seen nearly twice the number of coronavirus infections due to the highly contagious delta variant.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nebraska had 5,006 new cases for Friday’s week-end. This is nearly twice the number of cases that were recorded in the previous week, which was 3,755 compared to the previous week’s 2,668.
In the last two weeks, the average daily number of new cases in Nebraska for seven days has increased from 190 cases per day on August 15 to 715 cases on Sunday.