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Hospital capacity in every state

  • Hospital capacity in every state

    Hospital capacity in the U.S. has been dwindling for decades. To examine the current hospital capacity of every U.S. state and Washington D.C., Stacker consulted a federal dataset which compiles estimates of the current burden COVID-19 is placing on hospital systems around the country.

    While the nation had nearly 1.5 million hospital beds in 1975, that number fell to just 924,107 by 2018, according to American Hospital Association data analyzed by Statista. Improvements in the efficiency, quality, and availability of outpatient services have helped many patients avoid being admitted to the hospital, creating cost savings and preserving hospital beds for people with more complex health care needs. What’s more, inpatient stays have grown shorter; the average amount of time a patient spent at the hospital was 6.1 days in 2015, compared with 11.4 days in 1975—further reducing the need for beds.

    But how low can the number of beds get before the availability of care is seriously compromised? We may be long past that point. Since at least 2003, experts have been warning that hospital capacity “is being stretched to its limits,” and at no point in recent history has this become more apparent than the coronavirus pandemic. When COVID-19 hit the U.S., modeling systems showed that the health care system would be overwhelmed—a prediction that came true in places like New York, Washington, Texas, and other states. The availability of hospital beds continues to be used as a critical metric in determining how quickly states loosen coronavirus-related restrictions—or potentially go back into shutdown mode.

    The dataset we mined for this story was run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until data-reporting protocols for hospitals around the country changed in mid-July, causing hospitals to report to the Department for Health & Human Services (HHS) instead. Although the new HHS Protect Hospital Capacity dataset was updated on July 23, this recent data update has raised questions about data quality: Rhode Island, for example, is reported to have a hospital capacity figure over 100%. As a result, we refer to hospital capacity figures verified by the CDC as of July 14. We have also supplemented these data with current hospitalization and cumulative COVID-19 counts from the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, a volunteer effort that compiles and standardizes COVID-19 data from state public health departments. COVID Tracking Project data are up to date as of July 23.

    Does your state have enough hospital beds for the next COVID-19 surge? Click through to see how hospital capacity varies across the U.S.

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  • Alabama

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 76.8% occupied (9,919 beds, #6 highest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 84.0% occupied (1,638 beds, #2 highest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 1,547 patients hospitalized (31.8 per 100,000 people, #8 highest among all states)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 74,212 cases (1,526 per 100,000 people, #11 highest)
    --- 1,397 deaths (28.7 per 100k, #20 highest)
    --- 619,527 tests (12,735 per 100k, #20 lowest)
    --- 8,995 hospitalizations (184.9 per 100k)

    A spike in coronavirus infections in Alabama that began on June 28 not only cut into the state’s hospital capacity but has also taken a toll on health care workers, according to Paul Gattis and Ramsey Archibald of AL.com. The stress and anxiety of caring for high numbers of patients in the ICU and seeing people die in the hospital is putting medical staff at risk of mental health problems and exhaustion.

  • Alaska

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 46.7% occupied (760 beds, #4 lowest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 49.0% occupied (88 beds, #9 lowest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 36 patients hospitalized (4.9 per 100,000 people, #11 lowest among all states)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 2,684 cases (363 per 100,000 people, #6 lowest)
    --- 19 deaths (2.6 per 100k, #2 lowest)
    --- 189,509 tests (25,661 per 100k, #2 highest)

    Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in Alaska hit a new high in the first full week of July. There were 16 Alaskans sick enough to be hospitalized on July 6, whereas that rate was in the single digits on every other day during the pandemic, according to Annie Berman and Zaz Hollander of Anchorage Daily News.

  • Arizona

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 77.0% occupied (10,320 beds, #5 highest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 76.7% occupied (1,880 beds, #7 highest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 2,966 patients hospitalized (42.7 per 100,000 people, #2 highest among all states)
    --- 851 patients in the ICU (12.3 per 100k)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 152,944 cases (2,202 per 100,000 people, #1 highest)
    --- 3,063 deaths (44.1 per 100k, #14 highest)
    --- 822,713 tests (11,843 per 100k, #17 lowest)
    --- 7,236 hospitalizations (104.2 per 100k)

    Coronavirus infections have been affecting the capacity of the morgues at some Arizona hospitals. The state requested that hospitals move forward with emergency plans, such as ordering refrigerated storage for bodies of deceased patients.

  • Arkansas

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 63.8% occupied (4,772 beds, #23 lowest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 70.2% occupied (772 beds, #14 highest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 480 patients hospitalized (16.0 per 100,000 people, #12 highest among all states)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 36,259 cases (1,212 per 100,000 people, #22 highest)
    --- 386 deaths (12.9 per 100k, #14 lowest)
    --- 446,480 tests (14,929 per 100k, #20 highest)
    --- 2,361 hospitalizations (78.9 per 100k)

    When COVID-19 cases in Arkansas first surpassed 1,000 on July 11, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson warned that some hospitals were “on the edge” of being unable to manage coronavirus patients. Two days later, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that the state’s hospital capacity was still “adequate.”

  • California

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 66.6% occupied (46,383 beds, #21 highest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 71.2% occupied (7,095 beds, #10 highest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 8,820 patients hospitalized (22.5 per 100,000 people, #10 highest among all states)
    --- 2,196 patients in the ICU (5.6 per 100k)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 425,616 cases (1,087 per 100,000 people, #24 highest)
    --- 8,027 deaths (20.5 per 100k, #24 lowest)
    --- 6,778,304 tests (17,314 per 100k, #12 highest)

    Hospital wards were filling up after a surge of new coronavirus infections hit California, according to a July 13 report from the Los Angeles Times. Some health care workers in the state say they are growing physically and emotionally exhausted from caring for so many patients at the same time.

     

  • Colorado

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 53.3% occupied (6,967 beds, #9 lowest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 57.8% occupied (1,167 beds, #18 lowest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 351 patients hospitalized (6.3 per 100,000 people, #20 lowest among all states)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 41,698 cases (754 per 100,000 people, #16 lowest)
    --- 1,643 deaths (29.7 per 100k, #18 highest)
    --- 465,411 tests (8,414 per 100k, #3 lowest)
    --- 6,133 hospitalizations (110.9 per 100k)

    Dr. Leon Kelly, deputy medical director at El Paso County Public Health in Colorado, warned on July 14 that hospitals in the Colorado Springs area will soon reach capacity if COVID-19 cases continue to rise. He said that an 80-90% mask compliance rate would be required to avoid increased rates of infection.

  • Connecticut

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 70.8% occupied (6,225 beds, #12 highest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 48.9% occupied (756 beds, #8 lowest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 72 patients hospitalized (2.0 per 100,000 people, #6 lowest among all states)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 48,232 cases (1,347 per 100,000 people, #15 highest)
    --- 4,410 deaths (123.1 per 100k, #4 highest)
    --- 687,888 tests (19,207 per 100k, #8 highest)
    --- 10,712 hospitalizations (299.1 per 100k)

    Hospitals in Connecticut have seen a rise in demand for emergency services and routine care since the state has started reopening. But despite the increased business, the postponement of elective services and months of added expenses have created sizable financial losses for hospitals. Connecticut hospitals are now asking the state for $450 million in aid.

  • Delaware

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 68.9% occupied (1,906 beds, #17 highest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 66.9% occupied (227 beds, #20 highest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 56 patients hospitalized (5.9 per 100,000 people, #18 lowest among all states)
    --- 7 patients in the ICU (0.7 per 100k)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 13,924 cases (1,466 per 100,000 people, #13 highest)
    --- 529 deaths (55.7 per 100k, #11 highest)
    --- 162,351 tests (17,099 per 100k, #13 highest)

    Data modeling from the nonprofit organization CovidActNow indicated on July 9 that the COVID-19 cases in Delaware were growing at a rate that was likely to overload hospitals, per reporting from the Delaware State News. However, it also showed that hospitals were not likely to become overwhelmed within the next 30 days if current interventions continued.

  • Florida

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 78.8% occupied (45,353 beds, #3 highest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 76.5% occupied (7,219 beds, #8 highest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 9,422 patients hospitalized (45.7 per 100,000 people, #1 highest among all states)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 389,868 cases (1,893 per 100,000 people, #5 highest)
    --- 5,632 deaths (27.3 per 100k, #23 highest)
    --- 3,213,568 tests (15,601 per 100k, #18 highest)
    --- 22,991 hospitalizations (111.6 per 100k)

    A record-high growth of coronavirus cases in Florida during the first two weeks of July has left hospitals in the southern part of the state with shortages of testing supplies, medicine, equipment, and staff. Some hospitals have been offering hazard pay and other financial incentives to encourage staff to agree to work additional shifts or stay on the clock for extra hours.

  • Georgia

    - Hospital capacity as of July 14:
    --- Inpatient beds: 74.8% occupied (17,001 beds, #9 highest of all states)
    --- ICU beds: 80.5% occupied (2,798 beds, #4 highest)
    - Current COVID-19 hospitalizations as of July 23:
    --- 3,157 patients hospitalized (30.7 per 100,000 people, #9 highest among all states)
    - Total state COVID-19 counts as of July 23:
    --- 156,588 cases (1,521 per 100,000 people, #12 highest)
    --- 3,360 deaths (32.6 per 100k, #16 highest)
    --- 1,336,938 tests (12,983 per 100k, #22 lowest)
    --- 16,353 hospitalizations (158.8 per 100k)

    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced on July 10 that the state would reopen a temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta to increase capacity for treating COVID-19 patients. The field hospital, which was open in April and closed in May, will provide 200 additional beds.