As a result of a substantial increase in new coronavirus infections, Oregon and Idaho have joined the list of states in the United States that are running out of ICU beds.
Only 50 of the state's 638 hospital beds were still accessible on Saturday, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little stated last week that only four of the state's approximately 400 beds were still available.
In many areas, the nationwide Delta-driven surge has flooded hospitals. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, just a few hospitals have more than 30% of their total ICU beds available, and many have fewer.
Last month, Mr. Little and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, both activated troops of their state's National Guard to help staff hospitals.
Mr. Little said in his statement, "We are dangerously close to activating statewide crisis standards of care."
“In essence, someone would have to decide who can be treated and who cannot.”
Mr. Little's state is experiencing its highest-ever increase of Covid-19 hospitalizations. According to a New York Times database, Idaho had a seven-day average of 512 hospitalizations on Friday, a rate that has risen dramatically since July.
On Friday, the seven-day average of hospitalizations in Oregon reached 1,219, nearly twice the previous record of December.
Officials say the grim figures don't do justice to the escalating crisis that is wreaking havoc on hospitals and healthcare employees in both states. Mr. Little noted that even when hospitals created room for more intensive care unit beds, they quickly filled up.
Bed demand in Oregon is also outpacing supply. Throughout an interview on Saturday, Patrick Allen, the head of the Oregon Health Authority, stated that 127 people in the state were waiting for beds in emergency rooms. Hospitals in southern Oregon, where vaccination rates were lowest, were particularly severely affected, according to him.