The percentages of ICU beds used for Covid-19 patients in Montana along with neighboring Idaho and Wyoming are among the highest in the country, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Unfortunately, I am here today to tell you that we have lost the war. That Covid has come to stay,” said Dr. Steven Nemerson, Chief Clinical Officer at Saint Alphonsus Health System in Boise, Idaho. “And the reason it’s here to stay is because we can not vaccinate enough of the public to completely eradicate the disease.”
The day the first vaccine was released last December was the pandemic equivalent of D-Day, Nemerson said, and Covid-19 will be a recurring problem in the coming years because the United States failed the challenge.
“There are episodes, at least on an annual basis, that we will have to deal with,” Nemerson said Tuesday during a briefing hosted by the state Department of Health and Welfare.
Hospitalizations in Saint Alphonsus have dropped recently, Nemerson said, but it does little more than give exhausted health professionals a chance to get up in the air, especially as workers face hostility from some Covid-19 patients and families.
“None of us are superhuman, and we all have a limit to how much work we are capable of and how much stress and discouragement we are capable of dealing with,” he said, “and it is reinforced by, that we too many people come into our hospitals and question what we do. “
In other parts of the country, some hospitals are still thin. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico and Texas have 15% or less of their ICU capacity available to Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients, according to HHS data.
Complies with vaccination rules
At Boeing, where many of its 140,000 employees work in the state, the aviation giant announced that its employees in the United States must show proof of vaccination or “have an approved reasonable accommodation” by December 8th.
About 31,000 inspections have been conducted, which includes installing proper signage and checking evidence of vaccination, the mayor said.
About 6,000 warnings were issued, according to NYC Small Businesses Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris, yet de Blasio said only 15 companies after the warnings were still violated and fined.
“To all the small business owners, to all the employees who made this work – thank you,” de Blasio said.
The city’s overall vaccination rate has increased by 9% since the city’s mandate began, he said.
As for public employees in other cities, about 812 employees in Boston city are still not in line with the city’s Covid-19 rules, down from 1,400 reported last week, according to a statement from Mayor Kim Janey’s office. These employees have been placed on unpaid leave.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest, has pushed back its deadline for teachers and staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 until Friday, according to a district spokesman.
Boosters are rising more than the first doses, data show
While health officials are working to get as many first doses into the arms of Americans as possible, federal health data shows that the frequency of boosters administered exceeds the initial inoculations.
A pre-print of a National Institutes of Health study that has not yet been peer-reviewed or published suggests that mixing boosters in different combinations among the three vaccines provided a robust immune response.
“The most important takeaways are two things. One is that all of these different nine combinations are safe as there are no new or different side effects, so all of these seem to be safe,” says CNN doctor and emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday.
“The other big takeaway is that all of these combinations elicited a pretty strong, robust antibody response. So that actually justifies the mix-and-match approach,” she said.
CNN’s Andy Rose, Laura Ly, Maggie Fox, Jen Christensen, Deidre McPhillips, Rob McLean, Alex Harring and Mallory Simon contributed to this report.