COVID-19 and hospital capacity: 5 key updates out of Florida, Texas, California and Arizona

Some hospitals in Texas and Florida are already at ICU capacity, while hospitals in Los Angeles County are urged to prepare for a surge. 

1. Hospitals in two Texas counties reached capacity over the weekend. Judges in Starr and Hidalgo counties released statements on Friday, via Facebook and Twitter, respectively, alerting residents that hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley were at capacity and urging them to shelter in place. 

2. Houston hospitals could be overwhelmed in two weeks, Mayor Sylvester Turner said on CBS' "Face the Nation" July 5. The mayor noted that one month ago, one in 10 people tested positive for COVID-19. Today, it's one in four. "The number of people who are getting sick and going to the hospitals has exponentially increased. The number of people in our ICU beds has exponentially increased. In fact, if we don't get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble." The mayor noted that hospital staffing, not bed capacity, is "the critical point right now."

3. Adult ICU beds were 100 percent occupied at 44 Florida hospitals at the time of publication, according to data from the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. 

4. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, PhD, is urging hospitals in the county to have surge plans ready, including the ability to put elective surgeries and other services on hold, according to ABC 7. "If the trajectory continues, the number of ICU beds — our most limited resource — is likely to become inadequate in the near future," Dr. Ferrer wrote in a letter to hospital executives.

5. In Arizona, 89 percent of adult ICU beds were occupied as of July 4, the most recent update made to the state’s health department data dashboard. That same day, 3,182 people were hospitalized in the state for COVID-19, the highest number yet, with 821 ICU beds in use by suspected or positive COVID-19 patients.

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