COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, pushing hospitals to their limits and rattling the entire health care system.
Five states remain in serious danger because of the recent COVID-19 surge. In fact, five states have less than 10% of their intensive care unit beds capacity left, meaning anyone in need of those beds may have a tough time finding one within the state, CNN reports.
Several of the states are experiencing a rise in hospitalizations as active COVID-19 cases drop. This is a common occurrence in the pandemic as hospitalizations and deaths often follow the rise in the cases.
Let’s break down each of those five states to see what’s going on when it comes to COVID-19.
Officials told CNN that Georgia’s major health system, Northeast Georgia Health Systems, has about 287 COVID-19 ICU patients right now, which is more than the hospital had since January when the COVID-19 surge reached its peak.
- “So, in essence, our hospitals are full,” the system’s CEO, Carol Burrell, told CNN. “We’re looking to add space in hallways and conference rooms in waiting areas. Our emergency rooms and our urgent care centers are seeing higher volume than they’ve seen throughout this pandemic,” she said.
Alabama has been struggling to keep ICU beds open because of the recent delta variant surge. Per The New York Times, Alabama was the first state in the U.S. where ICU beds filled up.
- The New York Times reports that “there were more than two dozen people being forced to wait in emergency rooms for an open ICU bed.”
More patients are asking for extra care to deal with their COVID-19 diagnosis right now, even though active cases in the state has dropped, KARK reports.
- The state currently has “the highest number of patients on ventilators due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic” right now, per KARK.
- Right now, there are 1,257 patients in the state who have been hospitalized because of COVID-19 with 533 patients in the ICU.
Texas hospitals face tremendous pressure right now to deal with an influx of COVID-19 patients. Per The Texas Tribune, hospital staffs remain in short supply, too, which is putting a strain on another department within hospitals to take on new patients.
- “Without the capacity to take on new patients — and equally thin resources elsewhere to transfer them to — doctors fear they’ll have to start making heartbreaking decisions about care in order to save the most lives possible,” according to The Texas Tribune.
- “ICU use is still high, but as cases start to drop, we are still contending with very ill individuals in the hospital with COVID-19 who are in intensive care,” said Mary Mayhew, of the Florida Hospital Association, according to WFTV. “It is going to take some time before we see a decrease there.”