Many U.S. states are now looking as if their excess mortality rates for the third quarter could be more like the high numbers reported for the first quarter of this year than the lower numbers reported in the second quarter, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The number of new COVID-19 cases has started to rise in many parts of the country, and news reports have surfaced of patients with COVID-19 filling the beds of hospital intensive care units.
Even if hospitals are able to save the lives of the people with COVID-19, the pressure on ICU units could increase the death rate from other causes, such as cancer and heart disease.
One sign of hospitals’ stress is the ICU utilization data compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The most recent data available is for Aug. 6.
On that date, hospitals reported overall adult ICU occupancy rates ranging from 36.8% in Wyoming to 92.8% in Alabama, with a median of about 74.5%.
The percentage of the ICU beds occupied by people with COVID-19 ranged from 3% in North Dakota up to 43.7% in one Southeastern state. The median was 13%.
For a look at the 10 states with the worst COVID-19 adult ICU bed occupancy percentages, see the slideshow above.
For COVID-19 and overall occupancy rates for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, see the chart below.
Hospital Adult Intensive Care Unit Occupancy
|(As of Aug. 6)|
|Adult ICU Beds in Data||Occupied by COVID-19 Patient (in percent)||Occupied (in percent)|
|District of Columbia||322||5.3%||78.5%|