Coronavirus Updates: Hospitals dip into US ventilator stockpile as supplies in high demand

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Some states dip into US stockpile of ventilators
Faith Abubey reports supplies are in need as the patient count climbs at some US hospitals.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- More hospitals are in need of ventilators as the number of COVID patients across the country hits a seven-month high.

Hospitals in Georgia and Texas now receiving hundreds of ventilators from the US stockpile.

In Galveston, the COVID ward at this hospital is full, nearly all COVID patients in the ICU are on ventilators, and all but one are unvaccinated.

Meantime, hospitals in Florida are running low on liquid oxygen. It's also a key competent in purifying water.

Here are more of today's headlines:

How NYC schools will handle COVID breakouts

New York City's public school buildings will remain open if there are positive COVID-19 cases and only those who are unvaccinated will have to quarantine if exposed to a positive case, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter announced the City's plans for the upcoming school year at the mayor's daily briefing Thursday.

Students in Hoboken need COVID vaccine or test to go back to school

Going back to school in Hoboken will involve vaccinations or testing for students.

Hoboken Public School District announced students in Grades PK-12 will need to provide a negative PCR test in order to start school. The tests may not be done any earlier than Tuesday, September 7th.

De Blasio announces Weekend of Faith

New York City is launching a new "Weekend of Faith" campaign in collaboration with houses of worship to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccination, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday. During the weekend of August 27-29, the City is launching 50 mobile vaccination sites and "Vax to School" drives at houses of worship across NYC. The City will also distribute 5,000 backpacks with school supplies and vaccination information. The City is also enrolling more houses of worship in its vaccine referral bonus program.

Masks required for 1st day of school in Jericho

Jericho is starting the school year masked up on Long Island. However, there are other districts on Long Island that say they will not adjust their optional mask-wearing policies this fall until they receive guidance from the State Department of Health.

Nurse says she's never seen so much sadness in her career as COVID spikes in Louisiana hospital

Nursing Coordinator Beth Springer recalls how, a month ago, the ICU hallways were nearly clear. Now the pandemic seems worse than ever before.

"I see a lot of sadness. I see a lot that I never thought I'd see in my career," said Springer, who has been a nurse nearly 20 years.

Texas man strips off clothing at school board meeting to express thoughts on masks

As mask mandates have spurred heated debates at school board meetings nationwide, one Texas man took a bold approach to showing his support: He stripped down to his swim trunks.

The stunt occurred during a meeting Monday for the Dripping Springs Independent School District, near Austin.

James Akers, a 15-year resident of Dripping Springs, started the 90 seconds he was allotted during public comments by saying he had three children go through the school district and another currently in high school.

Oregon National Guard deployed to aid hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients

Hundreds of National Guard members are on the ground in Oregon to help with a COVID-19 surge that's overwhelming hospitals across the state.

Oregon has 1,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, according to state data, the highest ever in the pandemic. Gov. Kate Brown called the news a "terrifying milestone."

Municipal unions protest vaccination mandates

Union workers outside City Hall on Wednesday protested vaccination mandates requiring them to get a COVID-19 shot or risk losing their jobs.

The latest numbers from New York City show that nearly 97% of people hospitalized with coronavirus right now are unvaccinated.

Of New York City's entire municipal workforce, the NYPD has among the lowest vaccination rates at just under 50%.

But effective next month, every city worker -- from police officers and firefighters to office workers, public schoolteachers and hospital staff -- must be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

From CVS to Goldman Sachs, FDA Pfizer approval prompts COVID vaccine mandates

From Walt Disney World to Goldman Sachs, a flurry of private and public employers are requiring workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after the federal government gave full approval to the Pfizer shot. And the number is certain to grow much higher.

For the past eight months, coronavirus shots were dispensed in the U.S. under emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. Some workers and unions objected to getting the vaccine - and some employers were reluctant to require it - because it had yet to receive FDA full approval. That happened on Monday.

What to know about delta and other COVID-19 variants of concern

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed the COVID-19 delta variant as one of its "variants of concern" (VOCs) on June 15. According to the CDC, VOCs can be more contagious, more dangerous, less susceptible to available treatments or harder to detect. The current VOCs all have mutations in the virus's spike protein, which acts as a key to break into cells to infect them. And that's a potential concern because the spike protein from the original version of the virus is what scientists used to design all three authorized vaccines. It's also what monoclonal antibody treatments latch on to so the virus can't get into your cells, effectively "neutralizing" the threat. So far none of these mutations have changed the virus enough to undercut the vaccines. The uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, means the virus is mutating quickly. That's why many new variants are being discovered in places with the highest infection rates and large numbers of unvaccinated individuals, like the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Brazil.

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