NAPERVILLE, IL — The ongoing increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to add stress to hospital systems across the country, and some facilities are now considering scaling back elective surgeries to temper demand.

Nationally, COVID-19 hospitalizations have hit a new pandemic high with more than 151,000 patients hospitalized, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than 1 out of every 5 inpatient hospital beds and 1 out of every 4 intensive care unit beds are being used for COVID-19 patients as of Jan. 12.

State health officials in Illinois reported to the federal government Jan. 11 that approximately 75 percent of inpatient beds and 78 percent of intensive care unit beds in hospitals across the state were occupied. Around 26 percent of inpatient beds and 35 percent of ICU beds statewide were filled by COVID-19 patients, they reported.

Hospitals across the country are also contending with staff shortages that have only worsened throughout the pandemic; the shortage is being compounded by staff who are infected and need to go into isolation. The California Department of Public Health is considering suspending certain elective surgeries as stress increases on that state’s the hospital system.

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