Colorado, Arizona ICU bed use rates reach levels exceeding neighboring states

Data Desk

East Alabama Medical Center nurse Harvard Graham checks fluids for a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Opelika, Ala. Just as in other places across the country, a surge in infections linked to Thanksgiving is now filling up beds at the hospital. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado isn’t alone in the high rate of hospital beds being used, but the lack of availability is something that is certainly a major concern.

COVID case rate, together with its hospitalization rate, has been rising in Colorado against the national trend for months now.

As a result, Colorado’s intensive care unit beds are 92% occupied – the highest level the state has seen since the pandemic began.

While Colorado’s rate is high, it isn’t completely unusual. Arizona has the same rate.

Through the West, other states have similarly high rates. Utah’s ICU beds are 88% occupied, Nebraska’s beds are 86% occupied and New Mexico’s are 84% occupied.

Wyoming, however, has one of the lowest national ICU bed occupancy rates in the country at 56%.

The daily number of hospitalizations is related to ICU usage, but other issues such as clinical staff availability affect it too.

Arizona, for example, has seen relatively flat hospitalization numbers despite its high ICU rate. Utah is the same case.

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