Oregon and Idaho have joined the list of US states that no longer have ICU beds as both face dramatic increases in new coronavirus infections.
The Oregon Health Authority reported Saturday that only 50 of the state’s 638 hospital beds were still available. Idaho Governor Brad Little, a Republican, said in a statement last week that only four of the state’s nearly 400 beds were still open.
The national Delta-driven wave has filled hospitals in many states. Only a handful still have more than 30 percent of their total ICU beds available, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, and many have less.
Mr. Little and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, each mobilized members of their state’s National Guardsmen last month to add additional hospital staff.
“We are dangerously close to activating crisis care across the state,” said Mr. Little in his statement. “Essentially, someone should decide who can be treated and who can’t.”
The state of Mr. Little struggles with the highest rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations to date. Idaho had a seven-day average of 512 hospitalizations on Friday, a number that has grown rapidly since July, according to a NewsMadura database.
In Oregon, the seven-day average of hospital admissions reached 1,219 on Friday, nearly double the previous record set in December.
The appalling numbers don’t do justice to the mounting crisis that is overwhelming hospitals and health professionals in both states, officials said. mr. Little said that even as hospitals made room for extra ICU beds, they quickly filled up.
The demand for beds in Oregon also exceeds the supply. Patrick Allen, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, said in an interview Saturday that 127 patients in the state were waiting in the emergency room for beds to open. He said hospitals in southern Oregon, where vaccination rates were the lowest, were particularly hard hit.
“We’re on the brink of what we can handle right now,” he said, looking ahead to next week when the kids in the most populous parts of the state go back to school. “There’s not much room to make things much worse.”