ATLANTA - COVID-19 hospitalizations have hit an all-time high for the 30 to 39 age group, according to an online tracker by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data showed that hospitals are seeing 2.5 new admissions per 100,000 people in that age range as of August 15. That’s up from when hospitals saw .42 new admissions per 100,000 on June 21.
The data didn’t show what percentage of those hospitalized have been vaccinated.
CDC officials said hospitalizations have increased overall for Americans but still remain lower than the peak the country saw over the winter.
However, Infections and hospitalization numbers are quickly approaching what they were at the winter peak, with several states seeing a record number of hospitalizations and a critical shortage of available ICU beds.
The Alabama Hospital Association said the state is out of ICU beds due to the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Alabama has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus and the state’s low vaccination rate.
Oregon also reported yet another daily COVID-19 hospitalization record. On Monday, 752 people in Oregon were hospitalized due to the coronavirus, health officials said. Prior to this month, the state’s record of hospitalizations during the pandemic was 622 in November, which occurred during a winter surge and when vaccines were not yet available.
"I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of this crisis for all Oregonians, especially those needing emergency and intensive care," Democratic Gov. Kate Brown said Friday. "When our hospitals are full with COVID-19 patients, there may not be room for someone needing care after a car crash, a heart attack, or other emergency situation."
Tennessee’s top health official said Monday that just halfway through August, the state has already shattered its single-month record for new COVID-19 hospitalizations. Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey told reporters the surge in COVID-19 patients "really tips the scales" in hospitals even if there aren’t as many people currently hospitalized with the virus as there were during the January peak.
The rise in hospital cases has U.S. health officials renewing their calls for people to get vaccinated. In just the past two weeks, President Joe Biden has forced millions of federal workers to attest to their vaccination status or face onerous new requirements. He’s met with business leaders at the White House to press them to do the same.
U.S. health officials Wednesday announced plans to offer COVID-19 booster shots to all Americans to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and signs that the vaccines’ effectiveness is falling.
The plan, as outlined by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other top authorities, calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The doses could begin the week of Sept. 20.
"Our plan is to protect the American people, to stay ahead of this virus," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
In making its announcement on boosters, the CDC released three studies conducted during the delta surge that suggest that the COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective at keeping Americans out of the hospital but that their ability to prevent infection is dropping markedly among nursing home patients and others.
One of the studies looked at reported infections in residents of nearly 15,000 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. It found that the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against COVID-19 infection dropped from about 74% in March, April and early May to 53% in June and July.
Another one of the studies looked at 21 hospitals. It found that the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing the need for COVID-19-associated hospitalization was 86% at two to 12 weeks after the second dose, and 85% at 13 to 24 weeks after.
The third study, conducted in New York state, found that protection against hospitalizations stayed steady at about 95% over the nearly three months examined. But vaccine effectiveness against new laboratory-confirmed infections declined from about 92% in early May to about 80% in late July.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.