Five States Have Fewer Than 10% Of ICU Beds Available As COVID Cases Rise

By Bill Galluccio

August 31, 2021

How Royal Papworth Hospital Adapted To Battle A Pandemic
Photo: Getty Images

Hospitals across the country are struggling to deal with the influx of new patients as the Delta variant continues to spread, sickening young people and children. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, 78% of the 85,117 ICU beds across the country are filled, with over 31% of those beds being used for patients with COVID-19. Overall, more than 100,000 people across the country are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

In five states, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Arkansas, hospitals are reporting that more than 90% of their ICU beds are in use.

"So, in essence, our hospitals are full," Northeast Georgia Health Systems CEO Carol Burrell told CNN. "We're looking to add space in hallways and conference rooms in waiting areas. Our emergency rooms and our urgent care centers are seeing higher volume than they've seen throughout this pandemic," she said.

While the number of hospitalizations has declined in Florida in recent days, the hospitals are still overwhelmed with patients. Health officials in the state said that 95% of the ICU beds are filled, and nine hospitals are completely out of space.

"ICU use is still high, but as cases start to drop, we are still contending with very ill individuals in the hospital with COVID-19 who are in intensive care," Mary Mayhew of the Florida Hospital Association told WFTV. "It is going to take some time before we see a decrease there."

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