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5 Worst States for COVID-19 Mortality Change Now

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The number of new COVID-19 patients flowing into adult hospital intensive care unit (ICU) beds may be starting to flatten out — partly because, in some states, adult ICU units are full — but the U.S. COVID-19 death rate is increasing in most states.

In the typical state, patients with COVID-19 occupied about 25% of staffed adult ICU beds during the week ending Aug. 31, according to data collected by the Data Strategy and Execution Workgroup, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That was up 3 percentage points from the state median for the week ending Aug. 24.

The COVID-19 adult ICU bed ranged from 6%, in New Jersey, up to 55%, in Mississippi.

The change in the number of deaths was more dramatic.

The HHS recorded 6,789 COVID-19 deaths in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for the week ending Aug. 31, up 37% from the week before.

At the state level, the change in the number of deaths ranged from a decrease of 77%, in  Florida, up to an increase of 182%, in one state in Appalachia.

Health insurers have reported that decreases in spending on ordinary care tend to offset increases in spending on COVID-19 care, but increases in mortality could have a direct effect on life insurers’ and life reinsurers’ spending on death benefits.

For COVID-19 ICU occupancy and mortality figures for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, see the table below.

For the names of the five states with the worst increases in COVID-19 mortality, see the slideshow above.

Hospital Adult Intensive Care Unit Occupancy and Mortality

(As of the week ending Aug. 31)
Adult Staffed ICU Beds Occupied by COVID-19 Patients (in percent) Change in Staffed Adult ICU Beds Occupied by COVID-19 Patients, Since Previous Week (in percentage points) Deaths (last 7 days) Change in Deaths, Since Previous Week (in percent)
Alabama 49% 2%              89 -10%
Alaska 30% 4%              21 91%
Arizona 22% 2%            187 38%
Arkansas 45% 1%            208 1%
California 28% 2%            159 -54%
Colorado 21% 3%              51 38%
Connecticut 9% 2%              23 -18%
Delaware 17% 3%              23 44%
District of Columbia 8% 0%                4 -20%
Florida 48% -2%            230 -77%
Georgia 46% 1%            378 52%
Hawaii 39% 8%              25 108%
Idaho 46% 4%              30 -40%
Illinois 14% 1%            197 30%
Indiana 25% 4%            156 117%
Iowa 21% 5%              42 162%
Kansas 27% 1%              59 -43%
Kentucky 38% 8%            183 182%
Louisiana 48% 1%            382 -3%
Maine 18% 5%                8 -50%
Maryland 13% 1%              58 2%
Massachusetts 11% 3%              50 61%
Michigan 11% 3%              85 25%
Minnesota 17% 3%              36 20%
Mississippi 55% 0%            178 55%
Missouri 36% -1%            234 4%
Montana 25% 3%              27 12%
Nebraska 17% -1%              10 0%
Nevada 34% 0%            173 49%
New Hampshire 11% 1%              14 100%
New Jersey 6% 1%            109 85%
New Mexico 33% 4%              31 19%
New York 9% 1%            184 12%
North Carolina 37% 5%            213 21%
North Dakota 9% 1%                7 40%
Ohio 16% 3%            110 47%
Oklahoma 42% 2%            189 42%
Oregon 31% 6%            119 37%
Pennsylvania 13% 3%            136 21%
Rhode Island 14% 3%              12 50%
South Carolina 40% 3%            238 33%
South Dakota 18% 4%              10 150%
Tennessee 37% 5%            225 84%
Texas 50% 3%        1,381 50%
Utah 27% 3%              44 -6%
Vermont 9% -1%                5 25%
Virginia 18% 2%            149 119%
Washington 31% 5%            151 12%
West Virginia 26% 6%              58 107%
Wisconsin 17% 2%              72 47%
Wyoming 29% 10%              26 62%
TOTAL - -        6,789 -
MEDIAN 25% 3% - 37%
Source: HHS

(Image: Shutterstock)