“We have people in their 20s, 30s, even 40s who are so desperately sick [with the Covid-19 variant Delta], and we’re seeing all patients who are unvaccinated. It’s this new terrain,” said Janine Roberts, a nurse in an intensive care unit in a hospital outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She was speaking to a reporter for the wire service Reuters about the new tide of the pandemic as it has hit Utah of late.
Utah’s ICUs are now 84% full, and COVID patients make up about one quarter of those there. This contrasts with three months ago, when it seemed medicine had the pandemic on the run. Utah’s ICUs in April were only 59% full, and only 11% of those patients had Covid.
Roberts works at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.
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Roberts and other healthcare providers had expected that the widespread availability of one of three vaccines against Covid-19 in the US would curb its impact on hospitals. But only 45% of the residents of Utah are fully vaccinated, and the vulnerability of the other 55% has allowed plenty of room for the new more contagious variant to do its damage.