Covid keeps coming, care rationed

  • [Case rates from Kern County Public Health department]

    [Case rates from Kern County Public Health department]

By Marcy Axness, TME

The surge of covid-19 cases health officials across the country braced for has come, driven largely by the latest significant variant, Omicron. As we go to press January 11, the U.S. has just surpassed its all-pandemic hospitalization record, with 145,982 patients (including 4,462 children). The previous record was hit almost exactly one year ago, January 14, 2021, with 142,273.

Hospitals and healthcare workers are overwhelmed, in some cases having to ration life-saving treatments, like antibody infusions or the newly-approved Pfizer antiviral pill Paxlovid, since there is too small a supply for the massive demand.

At Johns Hopkins University, employees are “rushing to develop algorithms to help allocate…(please see below to view full stories and photographs)

Photo captions:

Above: On January 10, 2022, 5,229 new positive covid-19 tests were recorded in Kern County, for a 7-day average of 1,226. This represents a 242% increase in three days, from January 7, when the new positives figure was 1,527. The 7-day average went up 33%. On January 2, the NYT data showed no new positive tests, with a 7-day average of 111. Kern County Public Health’s data aligns closely with this graph (see story). Source: The New York Times, last updated January 10, 2022. These figures are for positive PCR tests, which may include duplicate tests per individual. At-home tests are not included.

The graph of recent cases on the KCPH Covid-19 dashboard shows an exponential rise in two days, from 276 on January 1 to 1,844 on January 3. The case rates reported by KCPH for January 11 are not reflected here, though the webpage said ‘Last updated on 1/11/2022.’

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This is part of the January 14, 2022 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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