Twin Cities hospitals reporting limited ICU beds amid COVID-19 surge

A COVID-19 surge is straining intensive care unit capacity at hospitals in the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.

On Nov. 4, the state reported ICU beds were 98 percent full in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area, according to the newspaper.

"We're at a red alert for ICU beds," Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said, according to the Star Tribune. "It's bad."

Like many areas of the country, Minnesota hospitals are grappling with capacity concerns as COVID-19 cases rise.

The state's Nov. 5 COVID-19 report shows 1,075 ICU beds in use by patients with and without COVID-19 and a capacity of 1,406 immediately available ICU beds.

But hospitals nationwide have noted that staffing open beds is challenging as healthcare workers are sidelined from work due to testing positive for COVID-19 or exposure to the virus.

To preserve capacity, hospitals are taking steps such as moving procedures to other sites and discharging recovering COVID-19 patients faster with take-home oxygen and observation, according to the Star Tribune.

Rahul Koranne, MD, president and CEO of the Minnesota Hospital Association, told the publication "100 percent of the COVID patients that have needed ICU and med-surg care have been cared for" but acknowledged the strain hospitals are feeling and the need to reduce the spread of the virus.

Read the full article here.  


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