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  • As space, staff, and supplies run thin in the intensive care units (ICUs), hospitals will face significant delays and challenges in providing care.
  • This is already playing out in various locations, such as Los Angeles, where patients line the hallways, waiting for care.
  • Some states have already distributed guidelines instructing healthcare workers on how to ration care if resources are strapped.
  • When ICU capacity is exceeded, the quality of care drops — not only for COVID-19 patients, but also for people being treated for heart attacks, strokes, and injuries from accidents.

As the current COVID-19 surge continues, health officials are issuing warnings that intensive care units (ICUs) are near or in some cases past capacity.

Health officials in California recently said the state could burn through ICU capacity, including its makeshift surge facilities, by early January.

New Mexico has already exceeded its ICU capacity. Arizona is dangerously close. And the same scenario is playing out in Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.

As people move forward with their holiday plans and gather indoors, more states could face a similar fate.

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