‘All the hospitals are full’: In Houston, overwhelmed ICUs leave COVID-19 patients waiting in ER (NBC News)

NBC News: ‘All the hospitals are full’: In Houston, overwhelmed ICUs leave COVID-19 patients waiting in ER. “Houston hospitals have been forced to treat hundreds of COVID-19 patients in their emergency rooms — sometimes for several hours or multiple days — as they scramble to open additional intensive care beds for the wave of seriously ill people streaming through their doors, according to internal numbers shared with NBC News and ProPublica. At the same time, the region’s 12 busiest hospitals are increasingly telling emergency responders that they cannot safely accept new patients, at a rate nearly three times that of a year ago, according to data reviewed by reporters.”

Data breakthrough: nearly 7,000 Floridians hospitalized with COVID-19, 112 in Brevard (Florida Today)

Florida Today: Data breakthrough: nearly 7,000 Floridians hospitalized with COVID-19, 112 in Brevard. “There are 6,991 COVID-19 patients across Florida’s hospitals, 112 of whom are in Brevard County. After weeks of pressure, Florida on Friday began publishing current, rather than cumulative, hospitalization statistics for coronavirus patients.”

Montgomery Advertiser: Available Alabama ICU beds at all-time low as COVID-19 hospitalizations spike

Montgomery Advertiser: Available Alabama ICU beds at all-time low as COVID-19 hospitalizations spike. “A steep spike in coronavirus hospitalizations across Alabama has led to ‘serious strain’ on hospital capacity across the state, with 206 ICU beds available in state hospitals as of Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, said ICUs around the state are 88% full.”

Reuters: Dozens of Florida hospitals out of available ICU beds, state data shows

Reuters: Dozens of Florida hospitals out of available ICU beds, state data shows. “More than four dozen hospitals in Florida reported that their intensive care units (ICUs) have reached full capacity on Tuesday as COVID-19 cases surge in the state and throughout the country. Hospital ICUs were full at 54 hospitals across 25 of Florida’s 67 counties, according to data published on Tuesday morning by the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration. More than 300 hospitals were included in the report, but not all had adult ICUs.”

Newsweek: 4 Hospitals in Fla. County Run Out of ICU Beds as State Sets Another Record in New Daily COVID Cases

Newsweek: 4 Hospitals in Fla. County Run Out of ICU Beds as State Sets Another Record in New Daily COVID Cases. “All intensive care unit (ICU) beds are currently occupied at four hospitals in Pinellas County, Florida, as the state continues to see a record spike in new cases and hospitalizations related to the novel coronavirus.”

Slate: How Florida Hospitals Are Handling the Coronavirus Surge

Slate: How Florida Hospitals Are Handling the Coronavirus Surge. “While the pandemic has been described as a matter of waves, Florida never saw an end to its first: it has only experienced a growth in cases since March. The scenario health experts warned of appears to have finally caught up with the state, including a significant spike in mid-June, a week or so after it began its second phase of reopening. Slate spoke with Dr. Minal Ahson, a University of South Florida Health Med-Peds Hospitalist in Tampa, about what this surge in cases looks like on the ground and how it hits differently four months into the pandemic. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.”

Houston Chronicle: Texas Children’s admitting adult patients because of COVID-19 surge

Houston Chronicle: Texas Children’s admitting adult patients because of COVID-19 surge. “In a statement late Monday night, Texas Children’s confirmed that the pediatric hospital has taken the unusual step of providing such additional capacity through its intensive care units and acute care beds at its two biggest campuses in the area.”

Rare chance to say goodbye: Chilean hospital invites in COVID patients’ families (Reuters)

Reuters: Rare chance to say goodbye: Chilean hospital invites in COVID patients’ families. “Around the world, a need to slow the spread of the highly-contagious virus in hospitals has been placed above providing patients with the comfort of being with their families at the end of their lives. One of the greatest cruelties of an illness that has killed almost half a million people worldwide, is that many have died alone, lucky to bid a digital goodbye via a computer tablet or phone. Medical chiefs at the University of Chile’s clinical hospital in Santiago decided, however, to allow family visits and, wherever possible, create a space for a final farewell.”

ProPublica: How America’s Hospitals Survived the First Wave of the Coronavirus

ProPublica: How America’s Hospitals Survived the First Wave of the Coronavirus. “ProPublica deputy managing editor Charles Ornstein wanted to know why experts were wrong when they said U.S. hospitals would be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. Here’s what he learned, including what hospitals can do before the next wave.”

AL .com: Hospitals in several Alabama cities now seeing all-time highs in coronavirus patients

AL .com: Hospitals in several Alabama cities now seeing all-time highs in coronavirus patients. “The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Decatur has hit all-time highs this month, filling beds and taxing staff as the state struggles with a wave of new cases. Nearly one-third of those patients will require ventilators during treatment, said Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers.”

Newsweek: Coronavirus Can Spread Through a Hospital in 10 Hours, Study Finds

Newsweek: Coronavirus Can Spread Through a Hospital in 10 Hours, Study Finds. “The study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection last month examined how quickly a virus strain spreads in hospital settings amid precautions taken to regularly sterilize surfaces and use personal protective equipment. In place of using SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, researchers said in a Monday news release they used a plant-based virus to imitate how the new coronavirus would act without posing unnecessary risks to hospital patients.”

National Geographic: Why rural hospitals may not survive COVID-19

National Geographic: Why rural hospitals may not survive COVID-19. “TO REACH NORTH Sunflower Medical Center from any direction, travelers must first drive through miles of open fields filled with cotton, corn, and soy. Eventually, they’ll land in the center of Ruleville, Mississippi, whose population of 2,800 is smaller than the number of monthly visitors the clinic sees ordinarily. Some patients travel from as far as 45 miles away to receive care here. But the past couple months have not been ordinary. Since March, when the World Health Organization labeled COVID-19 a pandemic, almost 50 percent of North Sunflower Medical Center’s patients have stopped showing up.”

Politico: Rising ICU bed use ‘a big red flag’

Politico: Rising ICU bed use ‘a big red flag’. “ICU beds are also starting to fill up in places like Minnesota’s Twin Cities; Omaha, Neb.; and the entire state of Rhode Island, according to local health officials and epidemiologists tracking such data, a warning sign of possible health care problems down the road. The availability of ICU beds is one measure of a hospital’s ability to care for its most vulnerable patients — people with severe illness who require more staff to treat them and may need life-support equipment such as a ventilator to breathe. And it’s served as a metric for whether the local health care system is able to handle a coronavirus outbreak, albeit a constantly shifting one.”

BuzzFeed News: The Trump Administration Wants To Cut Back A Billion-Dollar Healthcare Program. Hospitals Say Now Is A Really Bad Time.

BuzzFeed News: The Trump Administration Wants To Cut Back A Billion-Dollar Healthcare Program. Hospitals Say Now Is A Really Bad Time.. “Park Ridge and other hospitals have been battling with the administration in court for three years over a plan to slash by nearly 30% the reimbursement rate that hospitals get for certain drugs prescribed to Medicare patients. The hospitals won the first round. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard arguments in November and has yet to rule, and for now the cut is still in effect. In the meantime, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is exploring another way to make the cut if they lose the case, over the objection of hospitals. The litigation predates the coronavirus pandemic, but the stakes are higher as hospitals nationwide lose tens of billions of dollars weekly while nonessential services and elective surgeries are on hold because of the ongoing crisis.”

New York Times: Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers

New York Times: Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers. “With states restricting hospitals from performing elective surgery and other nonessential services, their revenue has shriveled. The Department of Health and Human Services has disbursed $72 billion in grants since April to hospitals and other health care providers through the bailout program, which was part of the CARES Act economic stimulus package. The department plans to eventually distribute more than $100 billion more. So far, the riches are flowing in large part to hospitals that had already built up deep financial reserves to help them withstand an economic storm. Smaller, poorer hospitals are receiving tiny amounts of federal aid by comparison.”