Coronavirus in the US: 4 states have less than 10% of intensive care beds left as health care staff shortages complicate care

Four states have less than 10% of capacity remaining in their intensive care units: Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and New Hampshire, according to data released Wednesday from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
National Guard personnel and other federal emergency teams have been deployed to hospitals and long-term care facilities in places including New Hampshire to ease the burden with medical and non-medical missions. A new wave of federally deployed medical teams will soon head to six states — Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island — to help hospitals fight Covid-19, President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday.

“This is part of the winter increase, and part of the longer term, which is why we put a lot of mitigation strategies and measures in place early on to help provide some flexibility for hospitals and health care systems,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sunono said Wednesday.

Five other states are only very close to 10% of remaining ICU capacity, according to HHS data: New Mexico, Missouri, Rhode Island, Mississippi and Georgia. Nationwide, Covid-19 hospital admissions are at record levels, with at least 151,261 Americans requiring care as of Wednesday.

Early research suggests that the Omicron variant may result in a lower chance of needing hospitalization than previous variants of Covid-19. But increased omicron transmissibility means that more people who are at greater risk of serious disease, such as those who have not been vaccinated or who are immunocompromised, will become infected.
Officials across the US are enacting emergency measures to help hospitals battle record Covid-19 numbers

“Omicron continues to burn across the Commonwealth, growing at levels we’ve never seen before,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Monday. “Omicron is even more contagious than a Delta version.” “If it spreads at the rate we’re seeing, it would almost certainly fill our hospitals.”

Dr. Craig Spencer, director of the center, said that while conditions were not as dire as they were at the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago due to the availability of vaccines and other treatment options, staffing shortages in hospitals are a real concern during this latest surge. Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

“The problem is we now have hospitals where we don’t have enough nurses to take care of incoming patients, Covid patients and non-Covid patients,” Spencer Laura Coates told CNN reporter on Wednesday.

“That is exactly why we need to do everything we can to try to reduce the number of people who are infected, not just the elderly, unvaccinated or unvaccinated, but everyone. Because every infection represents the potential for more people to be infected. We have to do what we can. To slow this spread for the time being and relieve pressure on our hospitals.”

He said that for those who come to emergency rooms for reasons other than Covid but have tested positive for the virus, hospitals still have to implement quarantine protocols for those sick which puts a strain on operations. This can have an effect on all patients.

“Right now, we still see patients who need oxygen, the vast majority of whom are not immunized,” Spencer said. “But a lot of the patients we see now have underlying chronic illnesses that are getting worse.”

These patients could include, he said, “someone with Covid who is dehydrated and needs to stay in hospital, or someone with Covid who is very weak and cannot go home because they are at risk of falling. Somewhat bad like this kind of classic Covid patients.” Which we’ve seen before. But every patient who needs to stay in the hospital takes a bed. And the beds and the staff are what’s missing now.”

A nurse wears protective gear before entering a patient's room in a Covid-19 ICU at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on January 3.A nurse wears protective gear before entering a patient's room in a Covid-19 ICU at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on January 3.

CDC to update mask guidelines

Health experts are repeating the need to wear high-quality masks as the country hits unprecedented numbers of positive Covid-19 cases.

New Covid-19 cases in the United States have averaged more than 771,580 per day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University data, more than three times the average peak last winter.

It might be time to upgrade your maskIt might be time to upgrade your mask

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to update information about mask wearing, including the different levels of protection that different masks — such as cloth, surgery, or N95 — provide against the spread of Covid-19, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walinsky said during a virtual briefing at the White House Wednesday.

In general, it’s important for people to wear whatever face mask they have access to, “but Omicron has changed things a little bit because it’s so transmissible that we know masks are more important,” Laurie Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials told CNN. Wednesday.

“If you have the opportunity, if you have the opportunity, if you have access to a better mask, the recommendation would be to wear it,” she said, adding that N95 and KN95 masks need to be fitted correctly to provide the best possible protection.

Study shows vaccines are effective for teens

The death rate in the United States has remained lower than during last year’s winter wave, which is often attributed to about two-thirds of Americans eligible for full vaccination, according to the CDC.

JHU data showed that the country recorded 1,817 Covid-19 deaths per day over the past week. The average daily peak was 3,402 one year ago on January 13, 2021.

However, the latest forecasts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) group predict 62,000 new Covid-19 deaths over the next four weeks, which means preventive vaccines are still required.

The Twin Cities join other major tourist sites in the US that are turning to indoor vaccine or testing mandatesThe Twin Cities join other major tourist sites in the US that are turning to indoor vaccine or testing mandates

The age group of Americans least vaccinated is still those under 18, and a new study of real-world hospital data between July and late October suggests vaccinations are effective even for those who are generally younger at lower risk.

The results, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is 94% effective against hospitalization for Covid-19 among adolescents aged 12-18 in the United States.

“Vaccination has avoided nearly all life-threatening Covid-19 diseases in this age group,” researchers from the CDC and a group of hospitals and universities wrote, finding that significantly more teens who were hospitalized with Covid-19 did not. Vaccinate them compared to those who had Covid-19. In hospital for other reasons.

Of the teens hospitalized with Covid-19, 4% have been fully vaccinated, less than 1% have been partially vaccinated, and 96% are not. By comparison, of those who did not contract Covid-19, 36% were fully vaccinated, 7% were partially vaccinated, and 57% were not.

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Deidre McPhillips, Naomi Thomas, Virginia Langmaid, Jason Hanna, Christina Maxuris, Claudia Dominguez and Andy Rose contributed to this report.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo