Nearly Every State Has 70 Percent of ICU Beds or More in Use as COVID Cases Climb

A majority of U.S. states have 70 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds or more in use as COVID-19 cases increase across the nation.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) only five states have less than 70 percent of ICU beds in use, as of Monday morning. These states include, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, South Dakota and Wyoming.

A map tracking ICU bed utilization across the U.S. shows that the rest of the U.S., except for those five states, have 70 percent or more ICU beds currently in use.

According to the map, Rhode Island and New Mexico currently have the highest percentage of ICU beds in use, with 92 percent and 90 percent, respectively.

In addition to Rhode Island and New Mexico, at least six states have 85 percent or more ICU beds in use. These states include Kentucky (89 percent), Michigan (86 percent), Nebraska (89 percent), New Hampshire (86 percent), Texas (86 percent) and Vermont (85 percent).

The map also shows the percentage of ICU beds currently being used by COVID-19 patients in each state. According to the map, at least nine states have 30 percent or more ICU beds in use for COVID-19 patients. New Mexico currently has the highest percentage with 45 percent, followed by New Hampshire with 42 percent. The other states include Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and West Virginia.

The ICU bed utilization across the U.S. comes as COVID-19 cases have continued to increase. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of December 3, the U.S. was averaging around 106,132 new daily cases per week. In comparison, CDC data shows that in mid-October, the U.S. was averaging around 65,000 to 70,000 new daily cases per week.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that states such as Vermont, Iowa, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Kansas are all seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

While COVID-19 cases are increasing in numerous states, the Omicron variant continues to be detected in new states. As of Monday morning, the Omicron variant has been detected in Minnesota, California, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. All of the variant cases in these states are among those who are vaccinated against the novel virus.

The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa and health officials are still working to determine the severity of the variant compared to others. During a recent appearance on CNN's State of the Union, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert said that early reports on the variant suggest that there is not "great degree of severity to it."

"But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn't cause any severe illness, comparable to Delta," Fauci said.

Newsweek reached out to HHS for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

COVID-19
A majority of U.S. states have 70 percent of more ICU beds in use as COVID-19 cases increase. Above, a nurse enters a Covid-19 patient's room inside the ICU (intensive care unit) at Adventist Health in Sonora, California on August 27, 2021. Nic Coury/Getty