US Coronavirus: 4 states have fewer than 10% of ICU beds left as health care staffing shortages complicate care

Four states have less than 10% of the remaining capacity in their ICUs: Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and New Hampshire, according to data 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 like New Hampshire to ease the burden of medical and non-medical tasks. And 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, expected to President Joe Biden announced Thursday. .

“This is part of the winter surge, part of the long term, so we implemented many of the mitigation strategies and measures early on to help provide some flexibility to hospitals and healthcare systems,” said the Governor of New Hampshire, Chris. Sununu said on Wednesday.

Five other states are very close to 10% of UCI’s remaining capacity, according to HHS data: New Mexico, Missouri, Rhode Island, Mississippi and Georgia. Nationwide, COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached record levels with at least 151,261 Americans needing care as of Wednesday.

Early research indicates that the Omicron variant may be less likely to require hospitalization than previous Covid-19 variants. But Omicron’s higher transmissibility means that more people at higher risk of serious disease will be infected, such as those who are not vaccinated or immunocompromised.

“Omicron continues to burn in the community, growing at levels we’ve never seen before. Omicron is significantly more contagious than even the Delta variant,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Monday. “If it spreads at the rate we’re seeing, it will certainly fill our hospitals.”

While conditions are not as severe 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, said Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center.

“The problem is that right now we have hospitals where there are not enough nurses to take care of the incoming patients, the covid patients and the non-covid patients,” Spencer told CNN’s Laura Coates on Wednesday.

“This is exactly why we must do everything possible to try to limit the number of infected people, not just those who are older or not vaccinated or not boosted, but everyone. Because each infection represents a potential to infect more people. We we need to do what we can to stop that spread right now and ease the pressure on our hospitals, “Spencer said.

For those who enter emergency rooms for reasons unrelated to Covid but test positive, hospitals have yet to invoke quarantine protocols for those patients, putting pressure on operations, he said. And that can have an effect on all patients.

“Right now, we are still seeing sick people in need of oxygen, the vast majority of whom are not vaccinated. But many of the patients that we are seeing right now have underlying chronic conditions that are being exacerbated,” Spencer said.

Those patients, he said, can include “someone who contracts COVID is dehydrated and needs to stay in the hospital, or someone who contracts COVID and is too weak and cannot go home because of the risk of falling.” In a sense, it’s just as bad as those kinds of classic Covid patients we were seeing before. But each patient who needs to stay in the hospital occupies a bed. And beds and staff is what is in short supply right now. “

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

CDC to update the mask guide

Health experts reiterate the need for quality masks as never-before-seen numbers of positive Covid-19 cases hit the country.

The United States averaged more than 771,580 new COVID-19 cases daily over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than three times the average high from last winter.

It may be time to update your skin

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to update information on mask use, including the different levels of protection that various masks, such as cloth, surgical, or N95, provide against the spread of covid. -19, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a virtual briefing at the White House on Wednesday.

In general, it is important that people wear whatever mask they have access to, “but Omicron has changed things a bit because it is so communicable that we know that masks are even more important,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, he told CNN on Wednesday.

“And if you have the opportunity, if you have the opportunity, if you have access to a better mask, then the recommendation would be that you wear it,” he said, adding that the N95 and KN95 masks must fit correctly to provide the best possible protection.

Effective vaccines in adolescents, study shows

The death rate in the US has remained lower than during last year’s winter surge, which is often attributed to about two-thirds of Americans eligible for vaccines being fully inoculated, according to the CDC. .

The country has averaged 1,817 COVID-19 deaths per day over the past week, JHU data shows. The maximum daily average was 3402 a year ago, on January 13, 2021.

However, the CDC’s latest joint forecast predicts a potential 62,000 new COVID-19 deaths over the next four weeks, meaning that preventive vaccines are still needed.

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The least vaccinated age group of Americans is still under 18, and a new study of data from real-world hospitals between July and the end of October points to the effectiveness of vaccines even for those who, being younger, generally are with lower risk.

The findings, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that the Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine appears to be 94% effective against COVID-19 hospitalization among adolescents ages 12 to 18 in the US. USA

“Vaccination prevented nearly all life-threatening COVID-19 diseases in this age group,” wrote researchers from the CDC and a collection of hospitals and universities, who found that many more adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 were not. vaccinated compared to those who were hospitalized for other reasons.

Among adolescents hospitalized with Covid-19, 4% were fully vaccinated, less than 1% were partially vaccinated, and 96% were not vaccinated. By comparison, of those without COVID-19, 36% were fully vaccinated, 7% were partially vaccinated, and 57% were unvaccinated.

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


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