American hospitals are reeling as another spike in cases threatens to overwhelm capacity and drive up deaths.
Almost 80,000 patients are hospitalized with Covid-19 in the U.S. — another high in a week that has pushed up the record every day since Nov. 10. California, Texas and Illinois made up almost a quarter of all hospital stays.
The Midwest saw horrific pressure on its system. North and South Dakota hospitals saw the highest number of inpatients Wednesday when scaled for population, roughly one out of every 1,685 residents, according to Covid Tracking Project data.
The uptick comes despite improving treatments and falling mortality rates from the disease. Doctors have greatly expanded the array of treatments available to tackle Covid-19. However, some must be administered in hospitals, potentially prolonging a patient’s stay.
Remdesivir, theGilead Sciences Inc. antiviral therapy approved for treating the coronavirus last month, is given in five-day or 10-day courses. The U.S. has also issued an emergency-use authorization for a monoclonal antibody that can be given to patients before they wind up in the hospital, but it is still in limited supply.
Additionally, the nationwide surge means that cases are accumulating in areas that have fewer beds and other medical resources than the large cities in the Northeast, where infections ran rampant in the spring.
The U.S. reported an additional 163,975 cases on Wednesday, according to Covid Tracking Project data. There have been more than 250,000 deaths cumulatively, according toJohns Hopkins University.
Covid Tracking Project data show:
- Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota had the most new cases per million people.
- The states with the worst momentum are Wyoming, Vermont, Minnesota and Colorado, as measured by the percent change in seven-day average cases from a week earlier.
- New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Idaho and New Mexico posted record case counts Wednesday.
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