Covid Stress on U.S. Hospitals Is Easing as Case Numbers Fall

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The reduction in U.S. Covid-19 cases is lessening the burden on hospitals, a key pressure point of the pandemic.

Coronavirus cases accounted for a fifth or more of in-patients in just three states -- Arizona, California and Georgia -- as of Monday. That compares with 11 states on Jan. 15, when hospitalizations peaked, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compiled by Bloomberg News.

The proportion of Covid-19 cases among patients is a barometer of health-care demand. Those treated for the pandemic disease require isolation and higher levels of infection control that intensifies the workload on staff.

Covid Stress on U.S. Hospitals Is Easing as Case Numbers Fall

California recorded the highest proportion of any U.S. state -- 34% in mid-January, when more than 22,000 Covid-19 patients were in its hospitals. Since then, the number has declined to 15,419, with the proportion of virus in-patients in California dropping to 24% as of Monday.

Coronavirus cases make up from 4% to 5% of hospital patients in North Dakota and South Dakota, which in mid-November were the first states to register a fifth or more in-patients with Covid-19. They make up from 4% to 8% of hospital patients in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska -- states that reported peak patient loads in December.

The U.S. reported 115,619 new cases Tuesday, according to Covid Tracking Project data, pulling the seven-day average down to 138,940.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there had been at least 447,737 reported deaths in the U.S., Johns Hopkins University data show.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

  • Arizona has the most people hospitalized with the virus per capita, at 483 per million.
  • No state posted a single-day case record Tuesday.
  • No states saw seven-day case averages significantly rising compared with the prior week.

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