With the coronavirus spreading out of control in many parts of the United States and daily case counts setting records, health experts say it is only a matter of time before hospitals start to reach the breaking point.
There are more than 41,000 Covid-19 patients hospitalized in the United States, a 40 percent rise in the past month. And unlike during the earlier months of the pandemic, more of those patients are being cared for in the more thinly populated areas where medical infrastructure is less advanced. In Utah last week, hospital administrators sent a dark warning to Governor Gary Herbert that they would soon be forced to ration access to their rapidly filling intensive-care units, and requested approval for criteria to decide which patients should get priority.
However, in other states patients are being blatantly turned away or being transfered to far away health car facilities due to lack of hospital space. In places like Kansas City, Mo., where this month medical centers turned away ambulances because they had no room for more patients. And in Idaho, a hospital that was 99 percent full warned last week that it may have to transfer coronavirus patients to hospitals as far away as Seattle and Portland, Ore.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said an emergency care site would be set up in El Paso, where public health officials on Sunday again issued a plea for residents to stay home for two weeks to help curb the rapidly rising number of virus infections.
Some places are even resorting to opening field hospitals in order to make room for patients. Two across the country have been opened so far, in places like Milwaukee and Salt Lake City.
Currently new cases have increased by 32% and new deaths have increased by 12%. due to this increase in cases hospitals are being pushed to the brink as far as holding patients for Covid.