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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, Harvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus hospitalizations are skyrocketing, even beyond the high-profile hotspots of Arizona, Florida and Texas.

Why it matters: The U.S. made it through the spring without realizing one of experts' worst fears — overwhelming hospitals' capacity to treat infected people. But that fear is re-emerging as the virus spreads rapidly throughout almost every region of the country.

Where things stand: Arizona remains in the worst shape: 24.4% of all hospital beds in the state are occupied by COVID-19 patients as of July 18, according to an analysis combining data from the COVID Tracking Project and the Harvard Global Health Institute. Texas is second at 19.1%.

  • Nevada is the next worst, with COVID-19 patients taking up 18.6% of all hospital beds. That's up significantly from 11.2% at the start of July.
  • Florida just started tallying current hospitalization data, showing more than 18% of all hospital beds occupied.

It gets worse: Many other states are showing significant upticks in coronavirus hospitalizations during the first half of July, including Alabama, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

  • Many of these states, which reopened a lot of their economies in May, do not have mask mandates.

Between the lines: Intensive-care unit beds, reserved for the sickest patients, are completely full in parts of Arizona, Florida, Mississippi and Texas.

  • Hospitals can convert other areas into ICUs, but that's not all that useful if hospitals don't have enough staff and supplies.

The bottom line: Cases have soared over the past 45 days, and hospitalizations naturally follow many of those cases.

  • Rising hospitalizations mean the outbreaks in many areas are not close to being controlled, and some percentage of those hospitalizations will end as deaths.

Go deeper: Everything's deadlier in the South

Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

A coalition of 156 countries agreed Monday to a "landmark" agreement aimed at the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe, the World Health Organization announced Monday.

The big picture: 64 higher-income countries, including European Union members, are among the signatories to the deal, known as "COVAX." The U.S. is not participating in the scheme.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,1833,800 — Total deaths: 962,793— Total recoveries: 21,348,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,833,800 — Total deaths: 199,818 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
Sep 20, 2020 - Health

Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules

HHS Secretary Alex Azar and President Donald Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Heath and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wrote a memo this week giving him authority over all new rules and banning any of the health agencies, including the FDA, from signing any new rules "regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The story further underscores reporting that health and scientific agencies are undergoing a deep politicization as the Trump administration races to develop a coronavirus vaccine, as Axios' Caitlin Owens has reported. Peter Lurie, a former associate commissioner of the FDA, told the Times that the Azar memo amounted to a "power grab."

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