As new virus cases, hospitalizations and deaths decline nationwide, some regions and states still face high volumes of COVID-19 patients.
Below is an overview of the situation in five states with the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rates over the past two weeks, as of October 15. The data comes from the HHS and is tracked by The New York Times.
14-day change: 21% increase
Hospitalizations per 100,000 people: 19
“We are full. The system is full. We are overloaded and we are stressed,” said Rahul Koranne, MD, president and CEO of the Minnesota Hospital Association. NBC affiliate KARE. “It’s like being on a treadmill for 19 months that just picked up.”
Throughout the pandemic, Minnesota’s Critical Care Command Center, known as C4, has been monitoring the capacity of hospitals statewide, finding beds for patients when providers cannot. From November 2 to December 2, 2020, C4 found 256 placements for 326 intensive care requests, a success rate of 82%. In comparison, from mid-September to October 13, 2021, there were 417 requests for intensive care and C4 could only find 104 placements, for a success rate of 28%.
At the height of last winter’s peak, the availability of adult hospital beds statewide fell to about 9%, said Dr Koranne. Minnesota hit that mark in early September this year, and currently averages 6.5% uptime.
Dr Koranne said the current crisis conditions are caused by a lack of nurses and doctors who are sufficiently trained to care for sick and critically ill patients. Some hospitals have started canceling “some non-sensitive surgeries weeks ago,” according to Dr Koranne.
14-day change: 25% increase
Hospitalizations per 100,000 people: 21
As of October 13, a total of 2,061 adults with confirmed COVID-19 infections have been hospitalized in Michigan, with 545 adult patients confirmed or suspected of COVID-19 requiring intensive care, according to state data.
“I had just done a few shifts in a row where I had six, seven people sitting in the emergency department, waiting for beds in other hospitals that didn’t exist,” Rob Davidson, MD, emergency physician in the rural West Michigan, said CNN October 9.
14-day change: 14% increase
Hospitalizations per 100,000 people: 48
Montana had a record number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 on October 13, according to state data cited by NBC Montana. As of October 13, hospitals in Montana have reported 510 COVID-19 patients, four more than the previous record of 506 patients in November 2020.
14-day change: 13% increase
Hospitalizations per 100,000 people: 37
As of October 14, 202 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, including 21 people in the intensive care unit. This is an increase from the 196 COVID-19 hospital patients reported on October 9.
Fifty-eight of the patients currently hospitalized (28.7 percent) are between the ages of 60 and 69 – the highest number of any other age group. There were 160 available inpatient beds and nine intensive care beds open statewide as of Oct. 14, according to state data.
There are currently 4,001 active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota.
In a press conference on Oct. 1, Governor Doug Burgum, alongside marketing directors and doctors at some of the state’s largest hospitals, urged the public to avoid risky activities to avoid further pressure on the North Dakota Health System.
To reduce hospitalizations, health officials have asked the public to drive defensively, avoid activities that can lead to injury, and ensure they are up to date with other vaccines, including vaccines against influenza.
“The pressure on hospitals and clinics in our urban and rural areas is reaching critical levels, and we all need to do our part to avoid hospitalizations and prevent further strain on these facilities and their staff as we go through this incredibly difficult time. “, says Burgum.
14-day change: 10% increase
Hospitalizations per 100,000 people: 27
As of October 15, Pennsylvania was reporting 2,946 total hospitalizations for COVID-19 and 687 COVID-19 adult patients requiring intensive care, according to state data. This is compared to two weeks ago, on October 2, when 2,671 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized and 576 adults required intensive care.
In Erie County, hospitalizations for COVID-19 fell from less than five new infections per day at the end of July to 75 patients on October 14, authorities are considering putting in place a face mask warrant if local COVID- hospitalizations 19 continue to increase, according to Erie Times-News.