As COVID numbers rise in South Carolina, hospitals eye bed space

South Carolina News

FILE – In this April 20, 2020, file photo, resident physician Leslie Bottrell stands outside a room at an Intensive Care Unit as a nurse suctions the lungs of a COVID-19 patient at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Yonkers, N.Y. A U.S. government report says death rates are 12 times higher for coronavirus patients with chronic illnesses than for others who become infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report Monday, June 15 highlights the dangers posed by these conditions. They include heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung ailments, such as asthma or emphysema. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina hospitals could have to implement medical surge plans to add thousands of additional beds as COVID-19 infection and hospitalization numbers keep rising.

The state hospital association said Monday that hospitals will initiate a bed surge plan if statewide bed utilization reaches 80%.

The utilization rate has at times exceeded 75% since the start of the pandemic.

State health officials announced 1,505 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths Monday, following the holiday weekend.

Some children’s hospitals have already begun to admit adults to help make room for COVID-19 and other patients.

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