Those hospitals, which span all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, represent about 18% of all hospitals that report their staffing status to HHS. And that number is expected to grow: 21% of all hospitals reporting say they anticipate having critical staffing shortages in the next week.
The worst-hit state is North Dakota with 51% of hospitals that reported saying they're facing shortages; seven states say over 30% of their hospitals are in trouble.
This is the first time the federal agency has released this data, which includes limited reports going back to summer. The federal government consistently started collecting this data in July. After months of steadily trending upward, the number of hospitals reporting shortages crossed 1,000 this month and has stayed above since.
The data, however, are still incomplete. Not all hospitals that report daily status COVID-19 updates to HHS are reporting their staffing situations, so it's impossible to tell for sure how much these numbers have increased.
While the data is a welcome addition to the arsenal of information that public health officials have to fight COVID-19, it highlights the shortcomings of what the federal government has made available to the public. Though the government has precise daily figures for COVID-19 hospitalizations at thousands of the country's hospitals, it shares only a ...
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