There are 88,080 people currently hospitalized with Covid-19, setting a record for hospitalizations amid a continuing fall surge, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
This is the highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations the nation has ever experienced since the pandemic hit the US.
Hospital systems around the country have been warning their staffing and ICU bed capacity are being stretched thin. Pennsylvania’s top health official warned Monday the state could run out of ICU beds within a week.
In Minneapolis, a doctor tearfully told CNN about caring for five Covid-19 patients the last time she worked. Two were sent to hospice care, and another – a woman in her 80s – died as her husband, also a patient, watched, she said.
“I don’t think you can describe how that feels to us as caretakers, to have to see that kind of suffering from patients,” Dr. Shirlee Xie, director of hospital medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center, said Tuesday.
While the hospital can add beds and equipment, “we can’t create doctors … we can’t create nurses to take care of patients,” she said. ” … I think we’re all just really, really scared of what’s to come.”
This latest surge in coronavirus cases nationwide is mainly being driven by people without symptoms gathering indoors, according to Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The real driver of this epidemic now is not the public square,” Redfield said in an interview with Fox News. “It really is driven by the silent epidemic – the asymptomatic infections largely in individuals between the ages of say 12 and 35.”
Redford noted transmission patterns are now very different from those seen in the spring in major metropolitan areas because transmission this time around is occurring when people take off their masks and gather in homes.
These silent carriers spreading the virus come as US coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue surging to new heights.