Which hospitals in your community are getting hit hardest during COVID-19 surge?
Detailed data released this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services illustrates the dire impact of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s hospitals.
From Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA TODAY found 269 hospitals reporting full intensive care units as of Jan. 28. A total of 524 hospitals reported more COVID-19 patients in the ICU compared with the previous week, and 607 had more COVID-19 patients overall.
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This data, reported by more than 4,500 hospitals for the week of Jan. 22-28, does not include hospitals run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Defense Health Agency and Indian Health Service. Figures from some small hospitals have been removed from the HHS data set.
COVID-19 cases are soaring nationwide. January is by far America’s deadliest month for COVID-19, with 95,364 people reported dead, Johns Hopkins University data shows.
HHS began reporting individual hospital occupancy rates in December, including detailed statistics for intensive care units. Hospitals whose intensive care units were at or above capacity the first week of January are shown in the map below.
The COVID-19 rate is the number of adult patients confirmed or suspected of being infected divided by the number of inpatient beds that would be allowed under normal limits on space and staffing. Occupancy can exceed 100% if a hospital exceeds those limits.
Intensive care units are filling up disproportionately in counties in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Alabama, the data shows. Of the 258 counties nationwide with average hospital ICU occupancy above 90%, more than half are in the South, according to USA TODAY’s analysis.
Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY. Aleszu Bajak is on Twitter at @aleszubajak or can be emailed at email@example.com.