March 20, 2022.Reading time 6 minutes.
Last summer and fall, Idaho was completely overrun by the Delta variant. State leaders implemented crisis standards of care, a practice allowing hospitals to conserve their limited resources when they are becoming overwhelmed. All hospitals in Idaho were in crisis standards for weeks, with the northern Panhandle region remaining in this crisis mode for over 100 days.
March 6, 2022.Reading time 7 minutes.
Early this week, I had a big story published in The Missouri Independent, as part of the Documenting COVID-19 project’s ongoing collaboration with that nonprofit newsroom. While this was a local story, to me, the piece provides important insights about the type of support that is actually needed in U.S. hospitals right now: not temporary assistance, but long-term, structural change.
February 27, 2022.Reading time 21 minutes.
This past Friday, the CDC announced a major shift to its guidance for determining COVID-19 safety measures based on county-level community metrics. The new guidance is intended to replace COVID-19 thresholds that the agency developed last summer, during the Delta wave; here, the CDC is promoting a shift from using cases and test positivity for local decision-making to using metrics tied directly to the healthcare system.
January 30, 2022.Reading time 3 minutes.
Featured sources for the week of January 30 include hospital capacity by state and county, wastewater monitoring, prisoners released in 2020, and vaccine requirements.
January 16, 2022.Reading time 8 minutes.
A record number of COVID-19 patients are now receiving care in U.S. hospitals, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Even so, reports from the doctors and other staff working in these hospitals—conveyed in the news and on social media—suggest that the HHS data don’t capture the current crisis. The federal data may be reported with delays and fail to capture the impact of staffing shortages, obscuring the fact that many regions and individual hospitals are currently operating at 100% capacity.