Fewer people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States now than at any other point.
As of Friday (April 1), there are 16,138 people hospitalized with COVID-19—fewer than there have ever been since the U.S. government first started tracking in July 2020.
Only 2% of hospital beds are currently in use for COVID-19 patients.
However, experts warn that many hospitals are still burdened by staffing shortages and other patients who are coming in sicker after postponing care during the height of the pandemic.
“I can’t hear that (data on Covid-19 hospitalizations) without shouting ‘hallelujah’ because the stress and strain of the last two years has been so enormous,” Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient safety policy at the American Hospital Association, told CNN. “But there are a number of things going on now that continue to make hospitals and their staff very busy.”
Foster said hospitals now expect a surge of patients who delayed care over the last two years, either by choice or because the hospital system couldn’t accommodate them.
“But I think it is that combination of having more people needing care than we had anticipated and having more staffing issues than we had anticipated that is really the biggest challenge right now,” she said.
Experts expect the continued strain on hospital capacity to persist at least through the end of the year.