2 in 5 Americans live where COVID-19 strains hospital ICUs

Patient connected to medical ventilator in ICU in hospital
Photo credit Getty Images

Hospital intensive care units in many parts of the U.S. are straining under record numbers of COVID-19 patients. These hospital units take care of the sickest of the sick. Some are running out of space and supplies, while scrambling to pay the soaring rates of temporary traveling nurses. Hundreds of ICUs are struggling at the same time, with many clustered in the South and West.

An Associated Press analysis shows that since November, the share of U.S. hospitals nearing the breaking point has doubled. More than 40% of Americans live in areas running out of ICU beds. Experts say sustained surges can jeopardize the quality of care in ICUs.

Meanwhile in Sedgwick County, 65 COVID-19 patients are in ICU, down from 72 the week before. The highest total was 88 on November 16.

A total of 205 patients are in local hospitals with COVID-19, that’s down from 207 the week before. 273 were in the hospital on November 30.

The current positivity rate is 9.04 percent, according to the Sedgwick County Dashboard.