Almost 23% of hospitals in the U.S. have reported a lack of employees on Tuesday, according to new data released by the Department of Human and Health Services.
975 out of 4294 hospitals said that they did not have enough nurses and doctors to adjust their patient needs. These staff shortages overlap with a rise in ICU bed usage. Eighty percent of ICU beds were occupied on Tuesday, reports the HHS. COVID-19 patients accounted for 30.8% of occupied ICU beds.
COVID-19 numbers have been at a record high. The U.S. shattered previous hospitalization records on Tuesday, reporting 145,982 patients in the hospital with COVID-19. The National Guard has also been triggered in several states to help provide bodies and medical support in hospitals lacking staff and distribute supplies.
This surge has prompted officials to take additional measures to back the hospitals. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order on Monday granting permission to out-of-state medical workers to work in Virginia. The order also lifted bed licensing requirements and increased provider-to-patient ratios for the next month.
The Red Cross said that it meets the first blood supply shortage and that it has been forced to limit blood distribution to hospitals.
Congress has also been dealing with a surge of COVID-19 cases. Several members of Congress have reported testing positive for COVID-19 in the last week, including Reps Nancy Mace, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sean Patrick Maloney.
The U.S. reported 1,688 deaths Monday, significantly below the record of 4,442 deaths reported on Jan. 20, 2021, according to the University. In January 2021, prior to reaching the record death count, the highest case count was 303,461 on Jan. 8, 2021.
The previous daily case record was set days prior at about 590,000 on Thursday. The new record brings the total recorded COVID-19 cases in the U.S. to 56,189,547 and the total recorded deaths to 827,748.
Monday's record comes along with the lack of COVID-19 tests across the U.S. It also comes from delayed reporting during the holiday weekend. Some states and territories do not report over the weekend, so Monday updates often include weekend totals, the University noted.
There were over 97,000 people in the hospital with COVID-19 on Sunday, according to the most recent numbers from Our World in Data. This is below the heights of the two most recent major waves, including the Delta wave, which reached a summit at 98,000, and the winter wave in early 2021, which peaked at 133,000.