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Coronavirus update: Hospitalizations are double what they were a year ago, WHO sees hope

YouTube has taken down 1 million COVID-19 videos that contain misinformation

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Photo (c) xavierarnau - Getty Images
Coronavirus‌ ‌(COVID-19)‌ ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 38,249,118 (38,088,128)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 632,475 (630,928)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 214,185,805 (213,461,327)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 4,468,507 (4,457,027)‌

Data shows August 2021 is worse than August 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that more than 100,000 people are in U.S. hospitals for treatment of COVID-19. Health officials say that’s more than double the number hospitalized this time a year ago.

The hospitalization trend has been moving higher over the last two months as COVID-19 vaccinations have declined and the Delta variant has quickly spread. Severe cases appear to be centered in states with low vaccination rates and where officials have resisted masking in public. The surge has put a severe strain on hospitals. 

"I had to turn away a cancer patient that needed an emergency treatment," Florida oncologist Dr. Nitesh Paryani told CNN. “There was simply no room in the hospital to treat the patient."

WHO believes cases are leveling off

Granted, the COVID-19 news in the U.S. has been grim lately. But the World Health Organization (WHO), which views the pandemic through a wider lens, says the situation may be improving. At least it’s not getting worse.

In its latest pandemic snapshot, the WHO reported that most of the new cases are coming from the Western Pacific region and the Americas. While worldwide cases are leveling off, they are plateauing at very high levels.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says cases can vary widely by region, country, province, and even town. "As long as this virus is circulating anywhere, it’s a threat everywhere," he said.

YouTube removed 1 million ‘misinformation’ videos

YouTube said it has removed at least 1 million videos that contained misinformation about COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mahon says distorted or false information has moved from the marginal to the mainstream.

“No longer contained to the sealed-off worlds of Holocaust deniers or 9-11 truthers, it now stretches into every facet of society, sometimes tearing through communities with blistering speed,” he wrote in a company blog post.

Mahon said YouTube removes almost 10 million videos each quarter for various reasons. He said these videos don’t have that much impact since most of them don’t even reach 10 views.

Around the nation

  • Connecticut: Hospitalizations for treatment of COVID-19 have increased in Hartford County but declined in New Haven County. The latest report from Gov. Ned Lamont shows a total of 378 hospitalizations in the state. That’s 13 fewer than the day before.

  • West Virginia: Gov. Jim Justice has told his constituents that it may be necessary to reimpose a statewide mask mandate to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He said the mandate would begin in public schools. Justice reported an additional 20 COVID-19 deaths since Monday.

  • Minnesota: Severe cases of the virus are on the rise and putting a strain on hospitals. The Minnesota Department of Health reports that ICU beds in Minneapolis-area hospitals are close to capacity because of a significant increase in cases linked to the Delta variant.

  • Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott is doubling down on opposition to COVID-19 mandates. His latest executive order bans businesses and organizations in the state from enforcing vaccine mandates. His order banning mask mandates is being challenged in court by several municipalities.

  • South Carolina: The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit in federal court to overturn the state’s ban on mask mandates. The suit claims that the action runs counter to the Americans with Disabilities Act, arguing that it increases risks for children with disabilities and underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

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