Intensive care bed use for COVID-19 slowing but not flattened completely

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This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). CDC tests are provided to U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories and select international laboratories. Photo courtesy of CDC.

The number of people needing intensive care for COVID-19 treatment is growing at a slower pace than earlier this month, but it has not flattened out completely, state data show.

Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday said his administration was looking for a 14-day plateau in the rate of hospitalizations and the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to intensive care units before Maryland could potentially begin reopening as part of the state’s recovery plan.

Hogan added that state would allow for small fluctuations in those measurements so long as they do not “spike up.”

In order for Maryland to begin its recovery process, Hogan has said the state must expand its capability to conduct COVID-19 testing, build up hospitals’ capacity to treat a surge of patients, increase the supply of personal protective equipment and further develop the state’s contact tracing operation.

Earlier this week, the state opened a 250-bed field hospital at the Baltimore Convention Center to free up room in Maryland’s regular hospital system. The field hospital does not serve as an intensive care unit.

The number of ICU beds in use at Maryland hospitals rose by just five beds between Wednesday and Thursday. Before that, it increased by 17 beds from Monday to Tuesday and 34 beds from Tuesday to Wednesday, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s Maryland COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

Meanwhile, the total number of hospital beds in use grew by 1,000 on Thursday after also increasing by 1,000 on Wednesday.

The number of current hospitalizations increased by 66 from Wednesday to Thursday.

Of the state’s total number of confirmed cases, 4,559 people who tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized at some point, including 1,711 who are currently hospitalized.

Of those currently hospitalized, 1,121 are in acute care and 590 are in intensive care.

There have been 1,432 people who isolated and were eventually released.

At least 21,742 Marylanders have tested positive for COVID-19, while 92,617 have tested negative as of Thursday morning, state officials said. The state’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 893, an increase of about 4.3 percent.

A total of 1,047 Marylanders have died from COVID-19, with 62 additional deaths since Wednesday. There are also 93 deaths suspected to be related to coronavirus.

There have been at least 4,783 confirmed cases involving nursing homes and other congregate living facilities, including jails and detention centers. Of those, 3,261 residents and 1,522 staff have tested positive.

At least 508 residents and eight staff connected to congregate living facilities have died from COVID-19.

FutureCare Lochearn in West Baltimore remains the facility with the largest number of confirmed cases overall and is the only facility with more than 100 resident cases. The facility has 154 resident cases and 14 resident deaths, as well as 66 staff cases and no staff deaths.

But Sagepoint Nursing & Rehabilitation in Prince Frederick has the largest number of fatal cases among residents, with 34 resident deaths. That facility has 97 resident cases, 32 staff cases and one staff death.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, there have been 6,043 confirmed cases in Prince George’s County; 4,300 in Montgomery County; 2,831 in Baltimore County; 2,068 in Baltimore City; 1,725 in Anne Arundel County; 918 in Frederick County; 867 in Howard County; 564 in Charles County; 436 in Carroll County; 414 in Harford County; 406 in Wicomico County; 206 in Washington County; 167 in Cecil County; 150 each in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties; 118 in Allegany County; 79 in Kent County; 71 in Caroline County; 61 in Worcester County; 52 in Queen Anne’s County; 51 in Dorchester County; 35 in Talbot County; 26 in Somerset County; four in Garrett County, according to the dashboard.

Of Maryland’s confirmed cases, 294 have been people age 9 or younger; 573 have been people ages 10-19; 2,525 have been people ages 20-29; 3,684 have been people ages 30-39; 3,871 have been people ages 40-49; 3,939 have been people ages 50-59; 3,010 have been people ages 60-69; 2,083 have been people ages 70-79; and 1,763 have been people age 80 or older.

Maryland has identified 11,595 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients as female and 10,147 as male.

Of the Marylanders who have tested positive for COVID-19, 7,821 have been black, 4,935 have been white, 3,651 have been Hispanic, 459 have been Asian, 793 have been another race, and data is not available for the remaining 4,083.

Nationwide, there have been at least 1,040,60 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, including at least 60,999 deaths and 124,023 recoveries. More than 6 million people in the U.S. have been tested for COVID-19 as of 10 a.m. Thursday, according to a real-time dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Marcus Dieterle

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