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10 States Where COVID-19 Has Filled the Most Hospital ICU Beds

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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)
Alabama 1,584 35.2% 92.8%
Alaska 130 22.3% 79.2%
Arizona 1,038 39.6% 79.2%
Arkansas 2,131 16.5% 57.7%
California 6,858 18.1% 75.4%
Colorado 1,313 12.9% 69.4%
Connecticut 1,030 3.9% 52.7%
Delaware 182 4.4% 75.4%
District of Columbia 322 5.3% 78.5%
Florida 6,354 43.3% 89.5%
Georgia 2,631 30.0% 84.8%
Hawaii 212 16.5% 64.2%
Idaho 302 24.2% 77.2%
Illinois 3,262 7.9% 65.5%
Indiana 2,248 13.0% 68.3%
Iowa 634 11.8% 65.8%
Kansas 835 20.4% 76.6%
Kentucky 1,787 17.0% 65.1%
Louisiana 1,765 43.7% 84.2%
Maine 308 8.1% 81.8%
Maryland 1,230 9.8% 73.1%
Massachusetts 1,333 5.5% 75.4%
Michigan 2,481 6.4% 74.9%
Minnesota 906 10.2% 74.3%
Mississippi 830 43.6% 86.3%
Missouri 1,827 36.5% 87.2%
Montana 220 16.8% 64.2%
Nebraska 562 10.9% 74.6%
Nevada 842 30.0% 82.3%
New Hampshire 284 4.6% 63.7%
New Jersey 3,017 3.0% 40.3%
New Mexico 413 20.6% 78.6%
New York 5,080 5.5% 65.8%
North Carolina 2,305 19.3% 81.8%
North Dakota 197 3.0% 61.2%
Ohio 4,049 6.7% 67.8%
Oklahoma 938 32.2% 84.4%
Oregon 769 16.3% 72.6%
Pennsylvania 3,603 5.3% 73.9%
Rhode Island 143 9.1% 80.3%
South Carolina 1,208 21.9% 77.9%
South Dakota 226 5.8% 57.0%
Tennessee 2,289 20.0% 72.2%
Texas 6,731 34.7% 89.0%
Utah 614 25.4% 67.7%
Vermont 97 8.2% 76.7%
Virginia 1,861 8.7% 70.3%
Washington 1,238 18.7% 74.7%
West Virginia 637 11.1% 76.1%
Wisconsin 1,545 8.5% 57.4%
Wyoming 125 13.6% 36.8%
NATIONAL TOTAL 82,526
NATIONAL AVERAGE 17.0% 72.6%
Source: HHS

(Photo: Shutterstock)