Alaska allows 20 hospitals to ration care amid COVID surge
Alaska activated crisis standards of care for 20 of the state's health care facilities Saturday, as it continues to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases, the state's Department of Health and Social Services announced Saturday.
Why it matters: The move will allow the facilities to begin rationing medical care as needed. Alaska has seen the worst coronavirus diagnosis rates in the country recently, per AP.
State of play: Alaska has experienced a scarcity of medical resources, staffing shortages and has found it difficult to transfer patients to different facilities due to a lack of available hospital beds, per a press release.
The big picture: Alaska's COVID-19 case count has increased 72% in the past two weeks, per NBC News.
- "If Alaska were a country, it would be the nation with the world’s highest per-capita case rate," Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski warned on Friday.
Several of the 20 facilities had already instituted crisis protocols.
- A triage committee at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage — the state's largest hospital — has been forced to make decisions about how to ration care, per the Wall Street Journal.
Other states have struggled to provide care to patients during the pandemic.