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US COVID-19 hospitalizations prime 100Okay since January

More than 100,000 people nationwide are hospitalized with COVID-19 – a threshold not seen since late January, data shows.

Some 101,050 patients are hospitalized with the virus, according to a dashboard updated Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The last time more than 100,000 Americans were hospitalized with the virus was the week of Jan. 25-31, when 107,266 inpatient beds were occupied, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The surge comes amid the fourth wave of the virus and its highly contagious Delta variant, which killed 1,456 Americans Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins data. The daily record high of 4,460 was set on Jan. 12.

A total of 148,143 new cases were tallied Wednesday, down significantly from Friday’s all-time high of 319,456, John Hopkins data indicates.

A medical worker moves a dead COVID-19 patient onto a gurney for transport at the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, on August 18, 2021. AP

Just over 52 percent of Americans are vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins figures, with more than 171 million fully inoculated.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in every Southern state are outpacing the national level. Florida has the highest number of people hospitalized at more than 17,000, followed by Texas at 14,000-plus, according to a Washington Post database.

The number of children in the hospital nationwide with the deadly bug has also reached 2,100, eclipsing the 2,000 threshold for the first time since August 2020, data shows.

Two visitors observe a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit at Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, on August 20, 2021. AP

To date, more than 632,000 people have died nationwide from COVID-19, a figure that’s expected to rise by about 100,000 by early December, according to one forecasting model by the University of Washington.

If masks are worn universally, however, that figure could be slashed to as low 677,000 deaths, the model shows.

A COVID-19 patient lies on life support at an intensive care unit at the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, on August 17, 2021. AP

“We can save 50,000 lives simply by wearing masks,” University of Washington health metrics sciences professor Ali Mokdad said. “That’s how important behaviors are.”

With Post wires

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