As COVID-19 cases climb, Missouri hospitals projected to see spike in resource demand

Missouri has seen a strong resurgence of COVID-19, as the virus coincides with flu season and holiday gatherings. State hospitals are nearing bed shortages while case numbers soar nationwide.

The state COVID-19 dashboard reported 18,348 new cases, 116 deaths and a 17.5% positivity rate for the seven days from Dec. 8 to Dec. 14. There were 2,536 virus patients in hospitals, 584 in intensive care units and 316 on ventilators, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Missouri has approximately 8,000 hospital beds and 560 intensive care beds available for COVID-19 patients, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The demand for intensive care beds is expected to reach 771 by Jan. 1 and 823 by Jan. 15.

The IHME, according to its website, produces coronavirus forecasts utilizing data from “local and national governments, hospital networks and associations, the World Health Organization, third-party aggregators and a range of other sources” with the goal of helping policymakers plan for the future and tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

To deal with capacity shortfalls, hospitals may cancel non-emergency procedures, set up additional beds, construct temporary expansions and utilize mobile military resources, according to the IHME.

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