As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe, hospitalizations tied to the deadly virus continue to rise across the United States. However, some states are being hit harder than others. Data from the US Department of Health and Human Services shows that eight states currently account for 51% of America's COVID-19 related hospitalizations. However, these eight states—Texas, Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas—only make 24% of the country's population.
The state that appears to be hit the hardest is Florida. Throughout the week, there have been a number of harrowing stories about residents dying from COVID-19. Four school teachers in Broward County reportedly died due to complications caused by the virus. Elsewhere, a Florida woman by the name of Kristen McMullen died of COVID-19 shortly after giving birth. Not to mention, 440 students in Palm Beach County have been told to quarantine after more than 50 teachers and students tested positive for COVID-19.
Unfortunately, Florida is not the only state losing lives due to the coronavirus. Texas has seen the number of COVID-19 cases increase by more than 150% over the last two weeks. As a result, hospitals are running out of beds and Harris County Health System CEO Esmaeil Porsa says she is "frightened by what is coming."
"In the past week, Florida has had more Covid cases than all 30 states with the lowest case rates combined. And Florida and Texas alone have accounted for nearly 40% of new hospitalizations across the country," White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said.
Reiterating statements made by health officials for weeks, a study from the Commonwealth Fund found that thousands of lives could have been saved had more adults been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Nearly half of the adult population in Florida and Texas remains unvaccinated while nearly 75% of the adult population in Vermont and Connecticut is vaccinated.
"Outbreaks are predominantly affecting states that have a relatively low vaccination coverage, with nearly a third of recent cases occurring in Florida and Texas," the study stated.
"Achieving 74 percent vaccination coverage by July 31, 2021, could have reduced the case count to approximately 1.3 million cases in Florida and 1.5 million cases in Texas."
Ultimately, researchers at the Commonwealth Fund estimated that the two states would have experienced 70,000 fewer hospitalizations and 4,700 fewer deaths had more adults been vaccinated.