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How busy is YOUR state’s pediatric hospital? Interactive map highlights most overwhelmed areas

Three-quarters of children’s hospital beds are already full nationwide heading into winter, as youngsters are hit by a tripledemic of viruses blamed on lockdown curbs.’s interactive map shows eight states had more than 90 percent of their pediatric beds occupied on December 3, the latest date available, with wards in one state completely overwhelmed by admissions. Across the country, 75.3 percent of children’s beds were filled with sick patients.

Doctors have said this year’s season is ‘worse than any other’ they have faced — as seasonal bugs return with a vengeance and cases of flu and RSV hit their highest level in more than a decade.

There are also growing concerns about a wave of Strep A infections striking the US after 15 children in the UK died from the normally benign bacterial bug — which is more common after viral infections such as RSV and flu.

Idaho, Arizona and Rhode Island are the worst hit states in America. Meanwhile, some are already telling people to mask up again — and not for Covid.

Where are children’s ICUs busiest? 

  1. Idaho – 133% occupied
  2. Alaska – 100% occupied
  3. Maryland – 100% occupied
  4. Maine – 100% occupied 
  5. Rhode Island – 94% occupied
  6. Pennsylvania – 94% occupied
  7. Utah – 93% occupied
  8. Texas – 91% occupied
  9. Massachusetts – 90% occupied
  10. Nevada – 90% occupied 

Source: HHS

Where are children’s hospitals busiest?

  1. Idaho – 160% occupied
  2. Arizona – 97% occupied
  3. Rhode Island – 96% occupied
  4. Nevada – 94% occupied
  5. Utah – 93% occupied
  6. Kentucky – 93% occupied
  7. Minnesota – 92% occupied
  8. Texas – 90% occupied
  9. Connecticut – 87% occupied
  10. Maine – 86% occupied 

Source: HHS

Official data showed children’s hospitals in Idaho are completely overwhelmed, treating more children than they have beds for — at 160 percent occupancy.

Arizona had the second busiest children’s wards overall, with 825 out of 850 beds — or 97 percent — occupied. Another 25 child admissions will leave the state’s hospitals overwhelmed.

It was followed by Rhode Island with 223 of 232 beds occupied (96 percent), Nevada, 319 of 339 beds (94 percent), and Utah, 421 of 451 beds (93.3 percent).

Rounding out the eight states with over nine in ten pediatric beds full were Kentucky (92.9 percent), Minnesota (91.7 percent) and Texas (90 percent).

Data for intensive care units (ICUs) showed wards in Maine, Maryland, Alaska and Idaho were all overwhelmed — with more patients than they have beds for.

At the other end of the scale, children’s hospitals in Vermont (45.8 percent of pediatric beds occupied), New Hampshire (47 percent) and Wyoming (49 percent) were the least busy in the country.

Lockdowns, face masks and other Covid curbs robbed children of exposure to ‘good’ germs that normally helps them build up strong immunity against seasonal bugs.

As a result, America’s hospitals are now facing a surge of child admissions putting extra strain on the units.

For comparison, about 80 percent of beds available are currently occupied on adult wards nationwide. 

New York City orders residents to mask up again over flu outbreak 

New York City officials are once again advising residents to mask up to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like Covid – but even the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Dr Ashwin Vasan, commissioner of NYC Health, issued an advisory today urging the use of face coverings in indoor public places. It is not a mandate and will not be enforced by city officials – but some private businesses may choose to follow it.

A media release cites the surge in Covid, RSV and the flu striking the city. The Big Apple is currently recording 3,761 daily Covid infections, a 55 percent increase over the last two weeks. The city confirmed more than 11,000 flu cases during the final week of November.

The move follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent non-Covid respiratory viruses earlier this week.

Only Rhode Island state had more than 90 percent of adult beds occupied, with 2,046 out of 2,192 in use (93.3 percent).

Washington (89 percent), New Hampshire (88.4 percent) and Massachusetts (88 percent) rounded out the busiest states for adult patients.

At the other end of the scale was Wyoming (45.8 percent), the only state to have less than 50 percent of its ward beds occupied at this time of year.

It was followed by Virginia (63.6 percent) and Kansas (65.1 percent).

America’s more than 6,000 hospitals have been reporting occupancy data since 2020 to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). analyzed the figures from December 3 — the latest available — to work out where children’s hospitals are being hardest hit.

Idaho has just one children’s hospital — St Luke’s — which is based in the state’s capital Boise.

Doctors have been warning that this year’s flu season is one of the worst to date for children’s hospitals.

Dr Surabhi Bhargava Vora, an infectious disease expert at Seattle Children’s Hospital, told the New York Times last month: ‘[This season] is worse than any other RSV season I’ve ever seen’. 

Children’s hospitals have been facing a surge in admissions this year in the wake of returning respiratory viruses — sidelined for two years by Covid.

A record 32,773 flu infections were recorded in the penultimate week of November, the latest date available, the most for this time of year.

So far this season there have already been 9million cases, estimates suggest — more than in the whole of 2021.

There have also been 7,800 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths, including 14 fatalities from flu among children.

At this time last year 69.5 percent of pediatric beds were occupied — compared to 75 percent today.

Six states had over 90 percent of their pediatric ward occupied at this time: New Jersey, Virginia, Maine, Arizona, Nevada and Minnesoa.

Currently, pediatric wards in the west coast, Texas and mid-western states are feeling the most significant pressure from resurging seasonal illnesses.


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