Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICU capacity

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One of the main drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic is Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity as resources such as hospital staff and personal protective equipment (PPE) are continuously used up. Although disaster planning for such a contingency had already taken place (and indeed has been updated), [1] the sheer scale of the impact first became apparent on the state level in late November 2020. [2] [3] [4]

Not least amongst the concerns is the tremendous strain on staff and the inability to transfer patients to other hospitals which are likewise swamped, a particular problem in rural states which have commensurate health care infrastructure. [5]

So serious is the issue that Governor Newsom of California issued a strict stay-at-home order to take effect 48 hours whenever any of that state's five regions -Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California reach 15% remaining capacity as projections were that hospitals shall be swamped by Christmas. [6]

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The following is a timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario:

The following is a timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in California.

The following is a timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas.

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  1. McCarthy, Niall (2020-05-22). "States Compared [Infographic]". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  2. Phelan, John (2020-11-20). "Minnesota's total ICU capacity has fallen by 229 beds – 10.6% – since early October". Center of the American Experiment. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  3. "COVID-19 Data Dashboard – Patient Impact & Hospital Capacity". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. July 16, 2020.
  4. Soo, Kim (2020-10-20). "Utah Hospital's ICU at 104 Percent Capacity as State Sees Record COVID Hospitalizations". Newsweek.Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. Simmons, Tommy (2020-12-01). "Some Treasure Valley hospitals faced decisions on ICU capacity Monday night as COVID-19 cases rise". Idaho Press.
  6. Moon, Sarah (2020-12-04). "Newsom issues regional stay-at-home order based on ICU capacity to battle record Covid surge in California". MSN News.