At the same time, staff shortages in hospitals in the region have been exacerbated by a recent increase in infections among their staff. At FF Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, NY, 45 of the hospital’s 1,750 employees were recently infected with the virus, and there are 252 open positions.
“Covid is here, Covid is a problem, but the biggest challenge here is staffing,” said Michael Stapleton, the hospital’s director.
Other hotspots are also putting pressure on healthcare systems. In Puerto Rico, 245 people on the island were hospitalized with the virus this week, more than five times as many as a month ago.
While hospital admissions generally lag trends in new cases, they remain one of the most reliable types of data on the pandemic, experts agree — far more than official reports of positive test results, which experts say can reflect the true number of infections. significantly underestimate.
Hospital admissions are reported quite rigorously. “For hospital data, we can be sure that the numbers are quite accurate, even if not all people have been admitted because of Covid,” said Dr. Eric S. Toner, a senior scientist at the Center for Health Security at the Johns. Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “So it’s the best data source we have right now. The number of new Covid recordings is the number I pay the most attention to.”
About 11 percent of people hospitalized with coronavirus infections in the United States were in intensive care on Wednesday, according to federal data.
The CDC also closely monitors the nature of hospital admissions. “We’re seeing less oxygen use, fewer ICU stays, and thankfully we haven’t seen an increase in deaths,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the agency, last week compared to previous bouts of the pandemic.