Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The faces behind the latest surge of COVID-19

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[NFA] Amid record spikes in new coronavirus cases and hospitals warning they could run out of beds, these are the faces of those who have contracted the virus in cities and states where Covid-19 is now surging. This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

42-year-old Ricardo Aguirre of Arizona says his entire family is infected with the coronavirus.

His wife, his kids, his parents and himself.

Even worse, 5 members of his extended family have died.

Aguirre: “We’ve been through hell and back.”

In California, 27-year-old Christian Jaramillo says he was bedridden for days after contracting the virus.

Jaramillo: “I don’t wish this to my worst enemy.”

He believes he caught the virus at a bar he went to when they were given the green light to re-open.

They are the new faces of coronavirus in the United States.

Young and old – living in places that have emerged as the country’s newest hotspots for a virus that has taken the lives of more than 127,000 Americans.

With the record surge in new infections across the West and South – an overwhelming demand for testing.

From Miami to Houston, people are lining up – sometimes for hours.

Josue Razo, Houston “It was about a three hour wait. And they ran out of tests.”

At this site in Houston – the line even spilling out onto a nearby freeway.

In Texas, where the number of new cases jumped to a one-day record of nearly 7,000 this week, Houston hospitals said beds were quickly filling up with COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Peter Hotez – a dean at the Baylor College of Medicine – painted a grim picture of the virus’s spread in the city. 

“We’re seeing this massive relapse, this resurgence, and it’s happening in all the major metro areas of Texas, and it’s very alarming. The rate of acceleration is extreme. We’re seeing daily dramatic increase, almost a vertical slope, what we call [exponential]. And some of the models saying that we may be at 4,000 cases a day in Houston by early middle of July. So it would be catastrophic for the city. So this is a pretty bad scenario.”

While the death rate across the nation has not seen an increase, some health officials say it could be a matter of time – as deaths tend to lag cases.

Now as the nation approaches the July 4 holiday many beaches are closing – including those in Los Angeles County and in the Florida Keys.

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi: “Unfortunately, we’re going to have to close the beaches. We’re going to have to close the parks and do some things that that we didn’t want to have to do.

Florida on Thursday shattered records when it reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases.

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