Some states have fewer than 10% of ICU beds left as health care staffing shortages complicate care

The other states are: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont, according to HHS.

Nationwide, the number of people hospitalized in the United States with Covid-19 has reached a record high – 151,261 as of Wednesday. As infections spread, states and health care systems across the country are dealing with a shortage of available medical workers, who stand a higher chance of exposure to Covid-19 and must be isolated after they test positive.

In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he will ask hospitals to temporarily halt non-urgent procedures in an effort to recruit staff to help people who need help immediately.

“This is one way to increase the ability to handle this omicron surge, obviously,” Inslee said. “Therefore, we will be asking hospitals to pause non-urgent procedures – so that a significant amount of capacity and staff can be dedicated to meeting emergency needs, and the people who need them now.”

Inslee said the new requirement is “not just for Omicron patients, but for heart attack victims, car accident victims, and gunshot victims, all of whom need help right now.”

In Kentucky, hospitals have less than 10% of remaining capacity in intensive care units, according to data Wednesday from Health and Human Services.

“I really had to call up the National Guard,” Governor Andy Beshear during a news conference Thursday. “And this next person in a car accident may not get the care they need. So get that person vaccinated.”

National Guard personnel and other federal emergency teams have been dispatched to hospitals and long-term care facilities in places including New Hampshire to relieve medical and non-medical duties.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that a new wave of federally deployed medical teams will soon be heading to six states — Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island — to help hospitals fight Covid-19.
Officials across the US are enacting emergency measures to help hospitals battle record Covid-19 numbers
Early research suggests that the Omicron variant may result in a lower chance of needing hospitalization than previous variants of Covid-19. But increased omicron transmissibility means that more people who are at greater risk of developing acute disease, such as those who have not been vaccinated or who are immunocompromised, will become infected.
Dr Craig Spencer, director, said that while conditions were not as dire as they were at the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago, given the availability of vaccines and other treatment options, staffing shortages in hospitals are a real concern during this latest surge. Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

“The problem is we now have hospitals where we don’t have enough nurses to take care of incoming patients, Covid patients and non-Covid patients,” Spencer Laura Coates told CNN reporter on Wednesday.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, US general surgeon, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN Thursday that he thinks the next few weeks are going to be tough.

“We will continue to see large numbers of cases. Our hospital systems in parts of the country are strained and that will continue, which is why the President announced that an additional thousand members of the Department of Defense will support and strengthen hospital systems across the country and the millions of pieces of protective equipment that we have sent and will continue to send to systems hospitals.”

“So there are a few tough weeks ahead. But I think there will be better days on the other side,” he said.

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

Hospitalizations from superinfection are increasing, but the risks of not being vaccinated are higher

Fully vaccinated people represent a growing proportion of people hospitalized with Covid-19 – but hospitalizations among people who received a booster dose remain rare, and the gap in risk by vaccination status was wide.

The study found that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 are less likely to die from any cause

Between April and July 2021, before the Omicron variant emerged, more than 90% of Covid-19 hospital admissions were among people who had not been vaccinated or had been partially vaccinated, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But a sample of data collected by CNN suggests that number has fallen to between 60% and 75% in recent days and months:

• In Pennsylvania, about 75% of Covid-19 hospital admissions between September and early December 2021 were among people not fully vaccinated, according to data from the state health department.

• In New York, about 61% of Covid-19 hospital admissions during the week ending January 2 were among people not fully vaccinated, according to state health department data.

• Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest health care system, reported last week that 62% of COVID-19 patients at its eight hospitals had not received a vaccination.

While fully vaccinated people account for a larger proportion of Covid-19 hospital admissions, multiple accounts indicate that those fully vaccinated and boosted account for a small share.

The highly contagious Omicron variant that almost everyone will find & # 39;  But people who have been vaccinated will still be better off . Fauci says
Less than 5% of patients in the hospital have received full and booster vaccinations, an official there said last week. Beaumont Health reported last week that only 8% of Covid-19 patients have been fully vaccinated and boosted.

The CDC did not respond to CNN’s multiple requests for data on the share of Covid-19 hospitals by vaccination status.

The agency publishes data on its website regarding relative risks by vaccination status. Cumulatively, the risk of hospitalization was eight times higher for unvaccinated people than for fully vaccinated people. But in the last week of November, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed hospitalization rates were about 17 times higher for unvaccinated people than for fully vaccinated people.

CDC to update mask guidelines

Health experts are repeating the need to wear high-quality masks as the country hits unprecedented numbers of positive Covid-19 cases.

New Covid-19 cases in the United States have averaged more than 771,580 per day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University data, more than three times the average peak last winter (251,987 on January 11, 2021) and more than 4.5 times the peak of the delta-driven boom (166,347 on September 1).

It might be time to upgrade your mask

Center for Disease Control Plans to update information about mask wearing, including the different levels of protection that different masks — such as cloth, surgery or N95 — offer against the spread of Covid-19, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky said during a virtual White House briefing Wednesday. .

In general, it’s important for people to wear whatever face mask they have access to, “but Omicron has changed things a little bit because it’s so transmissible that we know masks are more important,” Laurie Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials told CNN. .

“If you have the opportunity, if you have the opportunity, if you have access to a better mask, the recommendation would be to wear it,” she said, adding that N95 and KN95 masks need to be fitted correctly to provide the best possible protection.
Biden announced Thursday that his administration will provide “high-quality masks” to Americans for free.
The president also announced that his administration will buy an additional 500 million Covid-19 tests — on top of the 500 million he previously announced — and said a website Americans can go to to get free tests shipped to them will launch next week.

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Deidre McPhillips, Naomi Thomas, Virginia Langmaid, Christina Maxuris, Kate Sullivan, William Reilly, Claudia Dominguez and Andy Rose contributed to this report.

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