Expected New Hotspots
Despite major outbreaks in Washington, New York and California, health officials are concerned that several counties are already emerging as hotspots for the virus. Wayne county, Michigan and Cook county as well as Illinois are some of the areas that are at risk of increased covid-19 cases as reported by White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx. According to health official reports, Louisiana and New Orleans are already emerging as hotspots with the increased number of cases witnessed. In New Orleans, six nursing homes are being monitored after eleven deaths were reported in the Lambeth House Retirement Community.
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According to the director of the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Collin Arnold, the shortage of health equipment could be the disaster that defines our generation. Equipment shortage including face masks, ventilators and hospital beds being witnessed in numerous areas could lead to an increase in covid-19 cases. Critical shortage of ventilators and protective equipment in New Orleans has continued to pose as a challenge in the coronavirus war. Shortage of hospital beds has significantly contributed to an increase in cases. According to former Louisiana Secretary of Health, Dr. Rebekah Gee, the shortage of beds means that it would be impossible to save lives as coronavirus deaths are likely to peak in the upcoming period. She also states that the Federal government needs to step in and provide more ventilators. As a result, President Trump has been urged to address the shortage of health equipment through use of the Defense Production Act.
Sharing of Ventilators in New York
The desperate need for medical equipment has seen New York approve a technology that allows two patients to share a single ventilator. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the technique works through the addition of a second set of tubes to a ventilator. The governor also states that the hospitals in New York require an estimated thirty thousand ventilators. However, New York hospitals have four thousand ventilators and an additional four thousand on the way from the Federal government. New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, asserts that the possession of ventilators is the key difference between the life and death of thousands of New Yorkers. Mayor London Breed states that San Francisco is likely to experience a surge of cases as in New York. The state requires an estimated one thousand and five hundred more ventilators as well as five thousand more hospital beds. She continues that if people disregard the stay-at-home orders and continue to congregate and interact, there might not be enough beds and ventilators to support those in need.
Stay at Home, Save Lives
A total of twenty-one states have issued stay-at-home orders across the country. Despite Georgia and Florida not having statewide rules, Atlanta has already enacted a stay-at home order while Miami has issued a nighttime curfew. In Chicago, bike trails, paths and green spaces are to be closed as a result of crowds being spotted on the City’s Lakefront. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has pleaded with people to stay at home as crowding at the Lakefront could lead to an unacceptable risk and death. Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck also stated that citations would be issued to residents who violate social distancing and stay-at-home rules. A citation with a fine of up to $500 could befall an individual breaking the law, while continued violation could result in physical arrest. In New York and Los Angeles, nonessential gatherings and businesses have been restricted and civil fines will be issued to those who do not comply. However, the fines only apply to businesses and not individuals.