US Episcopal Bishops Strengthen Security Measures After ‘Tsunami’ of Delta Variant Cases

EPISCOPALIANS in the United States have stepped up Covid safety precautions in response to what one bishop has described as a “tsunami” of Delta variant cases.

The United States now averages about 129,000 new cases per day, a rate that has doubled in just over two weeks. The number of deaths in the United States from Covid since the start of the pandemic has reached 620,000, reports Reuters.

Churches have reintroduced the requirement to cover their faces and are supporting vaccination campaigns, especially in southern states, where vaccination has been low.

In Florida, new cases are at an all-time high, averaging 20,000 a day, and more than 90% of the state’s intensive care beds are occupied. Central Gulf Coast Bishop Reverend Russell Kendrick, whose diocese covers western Florida and southern Alabama, said a hospital official told him: “We are currently in a Covid apocalypse. ” In a diocesan message reported by the Episcopal News Service (ENS), he called on Episcopalians to offer prayers, praise and thanks for frontline healthcare workers. “We are now almost drowning in a tsunami of disease,” he said.

The Bishop of Louisiana, The Right Reverend Morris Thompson, said in a message to his diocese: “I have heard and read where some people have raised their objection to wearing masks indoors,” the ENS reports. ” It’s discouraging. The main reason for wearing masks is to protect others. Choosing not to wear masks testifies to the lack of love for our neighbor. “

New cases are on average more than 5,500 per day in Louisiana. “Studies show that vaccination is our best defense against Covid,” said Bishop Thompson. “Our goal is to take care of each other. Let us all do our part to take care of our neighbor. “

About half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, but rates vary widely by state and region. Only 35% of residents of Alabama and Mississippi and 38% of residents of Louisiana and Arkansas are protected.

Presiding Bishop, Most Reverend Michael Curry, said, “Vaccines can help us save lives and make life liveable. I have mine. We can get ours for ourselves, but if not for ourselves, for our children who do not yet have a vaccine. “


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Susan W. Lloyd

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