Coronavirus update: Businesses feel the effects of the Delta variant, millennials hit hard by recent surge

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An anti-vaccination protest turned violent in Los Angeles

Coronavirus‌ ‌(COVID-19)‌ ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌ 

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 36,689,470 (36,602,004)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 621,688 (621,264)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 207,422,686 (206,904,480)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 4,366,259 (4,357,699)‌

Latest COVID-19 wave affecting businesses

The first wave of COVID-19 resulted in restaurant shutdowns, automobile shortages, and sky-high lumber prices. This second wave, fueled by the Delta variant, is taking a toll on many other businesses.

Domestic airlines saw a big boost in business in July, but now they have more empty seats as consumers curtail travel plans again. Southwest Airlines recently warned investors that it is seeing a rise in cancellations.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the increase in new cases has disrupted factory operations that only recently returned to normal. Consumers returned in greater numbers to grocery stores, gas stations, gyms, restaurants, and retail stores in June and July. All those businesses are seeing August declines.

Millennials see big rise in hospitalizations

The number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospital care has jumped in recent weeks, and one statistic is giving health officials pause. Hospitalizations of patients who are in their 30s have hit a record high this month.

Doctors believe the Delta variant is partly responsible. Earlier in the pandemic, this age group largely avoided getting sick. They are also the age group least likely to get a vaccination. Now that they are exposed to the highly contagious virus, their unvaccinated status means they are more likely to require hospital care when they get sick.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the vaccination rate for Americans between the ages of 25 and 39 is slightly less than 50%. That compares to 61% of all other U.S. adults.

Anti-vax protest turns violent in California

The politicization of the coronavirus was on stark display over the weekend in Los Angeles. Police say Trump-supporting anti-vaxxers clashed with suspected Antifa activists, resulting in several injuries.

The Los Angeles Police Department reported that one man was stabbed and was treated by paramedics. The man was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital where he is reportedly in serious condition.

The protestors, many displaying Trump banners, said they rallied at city hall to take a stand against rules requiring COVID-19 vaccinations and so-called vaccine passports. Some in the group said they also object to wearing masks.  

Around the nation

  • New York: New York City’s trailblazing vaccination mandate for most businesses begins today. Customers at indoor bars and restaurants, gyms, and other businesses must show proof of vaccination in order to get service.

  • Texas: The Texas Supreme Court has sided with Gov. Gregg Abbott by temporarily suspending mask mandates enacted by local officials in Dallas and Bexar counties. The mandates requiring masks in schools were issued amid a surge in cases of the virus. However, they run counter to Abbott’s executive order forbidding mask mandates.

  • Maryland: Despite a rise in the number of coronavirus cases around the state, Gov. Larry Hogan allowed Maryland’s coronavirus state of emergency to expire Sunday. But Hogan has said the state’s response to the virus will not end with his emergency orders.

  • Nevada: As the state battles an increase in severe COVID-19 cases, it faces another problem -- hospital staffing shortages. The Nevada Hospital Association says hospitals need more traveling nurses and nurses with ICU training and experience.

  • Florida: After being battered for weeks by surging cases of the Delta variant, Florida is seeing a little relief. The number of people in Florida hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 declined slightly over the weekend. However, the number of severely ill patients requiring ICU treatment rose.

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