July 2, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT
As coronavirus rebounds, more patients are being hospitalized. That’s a bad sign.
Patients suffering from covid-19 are rapidly filling hospitals across the South and West, with Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada and Arizona setting records for hospitalizations Thursday, a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is entering a dangerous new phase.
In Arizona, where the virus appears to be spreading out of control, hospitals rushed to expand capacity and adopted practices similar to those employed at the height of the outbreak in New York City and Italy, including doubling up hospital beds in rooms, pausing elective surgeries and bringing in health-care workers from other states.
Perhaps most chillingly, at the urging of doctors and advisers, state officials this week activated “crisis standards of care” protocols, which determine for hospitals which patients get ventilators and care as the system becomes overwhelmed under the crush of patients.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction,” Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, said during a YouTube live stream.
By Anne Gearan, William Wan and Jacqueline Dupree