1 in 3 COVID Hospitalizations in the U.S. Are in These 2 States
These hard-hit states have faced a serious surge in hospitalizations.
As the Delta variant continues to wreak havoc across the U.S., many states are seeing a spike in hospitalizations. But while the ravages of COVID are widespread, two states are in a particularly tough spot, now accounting for almost 1 in 3 COVID-related hospitalizations in the country.
CNN reports that "COVID hospitalizations in Florida and Texas account for nearly 30 percent of current hospitalizations across the country." According to the news outlet, hospitalizations in Florida have been on the decline, dropping 11 percent over the past week, but the state's hospitalization rate is still extremely high. Meanwhile, hospitalizations in Texas have steadied, neither surging nor dropping.
These two states, along with Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia, only have 10 percent of their ICU beds left, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition told CNN it had to purchase 14 portable morgues to help accommodate the "unprecedented" number of COVID-related deaths.
But though the situation looks bleak in Florida, some experts believe the hospitalizations have peaked and will continue a steady decline. Doctors told ABC-affiliate WFTV that they think the number of hospitalizations has peaked for the current surge. While hospitalizations in the state have indeed been going down over the past week, WFTV reports that the state still has 50 percent more patients in the hospital for COVID than it did during the worst peak in 2020.
According to WFTV, Sept. 1 was the first day since early August that Florida had fewer than 15,000 COVID patients in hospitals. The news outlet reports that more than 75 percent of hospitals in Florida are projected to experience severe staffing shortages over the next week.
In Texas, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) says that 13,790 people are currently hospitalized for COVID in the state. Data from the DSHS reported by the Texas Tribune shows that almost 40 percent of people admitted to hospitals in Texas have been under the age of 50, which is remarkably different than in previous surges the state has seen. According to the Texas Tribune, DSHS data shows that 99.5 percent of people who have died of COVID in the state between Feb. 8 and July 14 were unvaccinated, meaning only .5 percent of deaths were from breakthrough infections.
While these two states make up a large portion of hospitalizations, they're not the only spots seeing a surge. Nine states have experienced record-high hospitalization numbers in the past week, surpassing past surges, including Tennessee and Georgia. The New York Times reported that on Aug. 29, the U.S. reached a daily average of over 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations, which is 40,000 short of the country's peak last winter.
Some experts predict that we could continue to see spikes for months to come. "We still have more work to do to get control of this virus," Jamila Taylor, MD, director of health care reform at The Century Foundation, told Healthline. "We will continue to see a surge over the next several weeks. I'm hoping this trend will shift later in the fall or early winter."
William Schaffner, MD, infectious disease professor at Vanderbilt University, told Healthline the current level of hospitalizations likely won't subside anytime soon. "There still can be local surges caused by superspreader events," he said. "In general, this level of cases and hospitalizations … could continue well into the fall."