COVID-Hospitalization Numbers Are as Bad as They Look

January 12, 2022

(The Atlantic) – More Americans are now hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any previous point in the pandemic. The current count—147,062—has doubled since Christmas, and is set to rise even more steeply, all while Omicron takes record numbers of health-care workers off the front lines with breakthrough infections. For hospitals, the math of this surge is simple: Fewer staff and more patients mean worse care. Around the United States, people with all kinds of medical emergencies are now waiting hours, if not days, for help. Some reporters and pundits have claimed that this picture is overly pessimistic because the hospitalization numbers include people who are simply hospitalized with COVID, rather than for COVID—“incidental” patients who just happen to test positive while being treated for something else. In some places, the proportion of such cases seems high. (Read More)