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Coronavirus cases are surging all across the United States again, and hospitals are not prepared to handle the influx of new hospitalizations, the Associated Press reported.
Hospitals are running out of space to house patients and don’t have enough staff to provide adequate care.
The New York Times reported that one hospital in Idaho is 99% full and has warned that it may have to transfer patients to hospitals in another state.
“We’ve essentially shut down an entire floor of our hospital. We’ve had to double rooms. We’ve bought more hospital beds,” Dr. Robert Scoggins, a pulmonologist at the Kootenai Health hospital in Coeur d’Alene told the AP. “Our hospital is not built for a pandemic.”
On Friday, the country recorded 82,600 new infections, according to The Washington Post’s count, the highest since the pandemic began. The next wave of infections could be the deadliest yet. More than 140,000 more people could die of COVID-19 in the US between now and February.
The Post reported that the current surge is more widespread than the peaks seen earlier in the pandemic and during the summer, and medical experts are warning that since the increased cases can be seen across the country that could also lead to a shortage of medical supplies and even staff.
Hospitalizations for the new coronavirus have increased in 38 states in the last week.
In Utah where cases reached an all-time high, Gov. Gary Herbert said the state’s hospital’s ability to provide good care is “on the brink,” the AP reported.
“If Utahans do not take serious steps to limit group gatherings and wear masks, our healthcare providers will not have the ability to provide quality care for everyone who needs it,” Herbert said.
The Times reported that additionally in this surge more people in rural areas are also falling critically ill. Those regions may sometimes only have a number of hospitals with a small number of beds.
“I don’t really see any signs that things are slowing down and that concerns me a lot,” Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University told The Times. “It has to be our starting premise that it’s not going to slow down unless we force it to slow down.”Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How the Navy’s largest hospital ship can help with the coronavirus