Covid-19 hospitalizations are dropping quickly in the United States, but a heavy burden persists, and the nation’s health care workers are exhausted under the strain.
For the first time in more than a month, there are fewer than 100,000 hospital beds in use for patients with Covid-19 nationwide, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
That’s a 38% drop from a few weeks ago, when Covid-19 hospitalizations reached a peak of more than 160,000 beds in use at one time.
Despite the promising trends, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, says it’s still too soon to change guidance and loosen Covid-19 prevention restrictions.
Hospitalizations are an important barometer, especially at the local level where decisions are made, she said at a White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing on Wednesday.
“Cases and hospitalizations are falling. This is, of course, encouraging. And that leads us, of course, to have us look at all of our guidance based on the latest data and the science and what we know about the virus,” she said.
“We’re, of course, taking a close look at this in real time, and we’re evaluating rates of transmission as well as rates of severe outcomes as we look at updating and reviewing our guidance.”
But there’s no “magic number,” Walensky said.
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