Last week, hospital systems in Missouri sent up flares and sounded alarms about surging COVID-19 hospitalizations in Missouri (boldface mine):
State health officials are warning COVID cases are soaring in rural parts of the state, including the Lake of the Ozarks and soon hospitals in those areas could soon be sending patients to urban parts of Missouri.
Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released a ‘hotspot advisory’ for Camden, Morgan and Miller counties, which is where the Lake of the Ozarks is located…
“We’re in a crisis and in that crisis, things change very, very quickly and we really are seeing a significant escalation in our number of patients in our hospitals,” Chief Medical Officer for Cox Health Dr. Shawn Usery said.
“We opened up our COVID ICU back in June and we really have almost consistently left that open since.”
Missouri reported more than 1,500 new COVID cases Friday. Usery said the number of COVID patients at Cox Health has doubled in a month.
“We’re seeing a significant surge in patients in our medical-surgical COVID units, as well as our COVID ICUs and that surge continues to grow every day as we look a week ago, we’re up 11 percent from a week ago,” Usery said.
“We’re at 106 patients today.”
…“If you look at the people admitted to our hospital with COVID pneumonia, 98 percent of those are unvaccinated,” Usery said.
“This is a real virus, people are dying, young people are dying and that’s different than what we saw in the first wave.”
If we look at the three ‘hotspot’ counties, Camden, Morgan and Miller counties, their total, combined population (92,551) is comparable to that of D.C.’s Ward 8 (86,384). According to D.C.’s vaccination data, 23% of Ward 8 is fully vaccinated (note: I’m using data from the same days, plus or minus a day); however, the D.C. data lack the location of thirty percent of vaccinees. If we assume that these missing vaccinees are distributed equally across D.C.’s wards–and that’s a huge fucking if–then thirty percent of Ward 8 is vaccinated. If you consider, well, just about everything in modern U.S. society, Ward 8 probably isn’t that high (i.e., a disproportionate number of the missing vaccinees likely are found in the wealthier wards).
So Ward 8’s fully vaccinated rate might be 27%: the same as the three hotspot counties in Missouri.
If D.C. doesn’t figure out a way to vaccinate more people, especially east of the river, the late summer or early fall could get really ugly. The death toll likely won’t be as high as January to April 2021 (or the first wave), but we’ll see a lot of hospitalizations and long COVID, most of which doesn’t need to happen.
D.C. doesn’t want or need our own Private