Coronavirus hospitalizations are surging once again, threatening to overburden some local health care systems just as badly as the waves that hit last spring and summer.
Why it matters: It's hard to argue that a person's vaccination status doesn't impact anyone but themselves when hospitals around the country are filling up.
Where it stands: More than 40,000 patients are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 infections.
- Florida is setting new COVID-19 hospitalization records, forcing the state's largest hospital systems to limit visitors, expand coronavirus units and prepare for staffing shortages, ABC News reports.
- Hospitalizations in this wave of the pandemic "clearly will surpass waves 1 and 2," tweeted Eric Topol, executive vice president of Scripps Research.
Between the lines: The vast majority of hospitalized coronavirus patients are unvaccinated.
- But a very small percentage of vaccinated people do develop COVID-19 infections, and small percentage of that small percentage do require hospitalization.
- As the number of overall cases continues to grow, so will the number of breakthrough hospitalizations — but not nearly as quickly as hospitalizations among the unvaccinated.
What we're watching: In many states where the virus is taking off, there's no political appetite at all for the mitigation policies that would help slow Delta's spread.
- That means the steep increase in hospitalizations can and will get worse — straining more health care systems and potentially disrupting entire communities' access to care.