Healthcare Economy

COVID-19: The State With the Most People in Hospitals

According to the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy, COVID-19 cases are back to pre-vaccination levels. Over the past week, the organization reports that there have been 900,000 new cases in the United States. Other data show that one in five new cases worldwide is in America. This is a surge from a month ago, when it appeared that the presence of the virus was retreating. Among the most widely given causes for the rise is low vaccination rates in a number of states and the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant of the disease.

Until recently, it was easy to forget how terribly the disease has ravaged the United States. At 37,345,854, America has had 18% of the world’s cases since the pandemic began. Also, at 632,404, it has had 15% of the world’s deaths from the disease. That is despite flair-ups in India and Indonesia, South America and Europe.

Vaccination rates vary widely by state. Seventy-two percent of people over 18 have received at least one dose of vaccine nationwide. The figure is below 54% in Wyoming, the worst rate among all states. Other states below 60% include Alabama, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Epidemiology and public health officials look at new cases, deaths and hospitalizations based on rates per 100,000 people to allow comparisons from place to place, regardless of the numbers of people. This is done at both the county and state levels.

Among the most widely tracked information are hospitalizations, a sign of people who are seriously ill. The daily average hospitalization rate in the United States is 24 per 100,000, up 70% in the past 14 days. The total raw count of people in the hospital nationwide is 80,664. The state with the highest rate per 100,000 people by far is Florida at 73, nearly triple the national average. The raw count of people in the hospital there is 15,779.

Hospitals in some parts of Florida are in a desperate fight to treat COVID-19 patients. According to NBC-6, “Hospitals in South Florida still making room for hundreds of COVID-19 positive patients per day.” Currently, the ability for some hospitals to add new patients is virtually nil.