There were no ICU beds available in the state of Alabama on Wednesday, a sign of the widespread damage of the coronavirus and the highly transmissible delta variant.
Did Alabama run out of ICU beds?
Per The New York Times, Alabama was the first state in the country to see its ICU beds fill up. In fact, the Alabama Hospital Association said there were “negative 29” ICU beds available in the state.
- Or, as The New York Times reports, “there were more than two dozen people being forced to wait in emergency rooms for an open ICU bed.”
- “We’ve never been here before. We are in truly now in uncharted territory in terms of our ICU bed capacity,” said Alabama Hospital Association President Dr. Don Williamson, according to WSFA.
What happens to Alabama COVID-19 patients?
- “They are, but to do that, they are taking up other parts of the hospital that would not normally be made into an ICU unit,” he said. “This could have been prevented had we gotten vaccination numbers to higher levels.”
Alabama and the COVID-19 vaccine
Right now, only 47% of Alabama’s population has been partially vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s well below the national rate, which sits at 60%, according to The New York Times COVID-19 vaccine data.
Is this happening elsewhere?
Per Fox News, the nearby state of Mississippi has been opening field hospitals to deal with its COVID-19 surge. Hospital officials said the current surge has caused hospitals to become quickly overrun.