Hospitals in some parts of the U.S. are already starting to see the impact of an autumn wave of Covid-19 infections, the latest sign that the health-care system still faces serious pressure from the virus, even in places that have achieved relatively high vaccination rates.
Intensive-care unit beds occupied by Covid-19 patients are climbing in 12 states from two weeks earlier, with most of them in a contiguous strip running from Arizona and New Mexico, through the Great Plains and into Minnesota. In several Western states, many doctors and nurses haven’t caught their breath from the last round of infections.
“We’ve been at full capacity and couldn’t get patients transferred” until a few days ago, said Jennifer Riley, vice president for operations at the Memorial Hospital at Craig, a rural facility in remote Moffat County in western Colorado with about 25 beds. “It’s hard to believe we are so far into the pandemic.”