U.S. HOSPITALS SCRAMBLE TO FIND EXTRA BEDS
Hospitals across the United States are starting to buckle from a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, with several states setting records for the number of people hospitalized and leaders scrambling to find extra beds and staff. New highs in cases have been reported in states big and small - from Idaho to Ohio - in recent days.
The rise in cases and hospitalizations was alarming to medical experts, KCRA 3 News reported.
Around the world, disease trackers have seen a pattern: First, the number of cases rises, then hospitalizations and finally there are increases in deaths. Seeing hospitals struggling is alarming because it may already be too late to stop a crippling surge.
“By the time we see hospitalizations rise, it means we’re really struggling,” said Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at George Mason University.
Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday the United States is seeing a “distressing trend” with COVID-19 cases growing in nearly three-quarters of the country.
“We’re seeing cases increase in really all parts of the country - in the Midwest, particularly - likely in part because people are moving indoors with the arrival of cooler temperatures,” Butler told reporters at a briefing at CDC headquarters in Atlanta.
“Another factor is that smaller, more intimate gatherings of family, friends and neighbors may be driving infections as well, especially as these gatherings move indoors and adherence to face coverings and social distancing may not be optimal.”
Surges in coronavirus cases have led hospitals in Rocky Mountain states to raise concerns as their intensive care bed space dwindles. Utah, Montana and Wyoming have all reported record highs this week for the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. Seven of 10 intensive care beds were filled in Utah hospitals and about six in 10 in Montana.
In Nevada, where the economy relies heavily on the tourism industry, officials have stressed the need to maintain steady trends to bring back concerts and conventions that employ thousands on the Las Vegas Strip.