Dr. Gerald updated his analysis of COVID epidemiology and hospital admission/capacity trends over the weekend. Here’s a link to the 6-page analysis. Below are a few of the take-aways:

Given the reporting lag, it is unclear how PCR testing capacity changed this past week; however, the percent of patients testing positive continues to increase from a low of 4.9% in mid-May to a new high of 23.4% this past week

From a May 22 plateau, total Covid-19 hospitalization has increased 301% from 1093 to 4384 occupied beds. Increases in general ward occupancy have outpaced ICU occupancy, 345% versus 191%, respectively. Continued increases in new cases are expected to drive additional hospitalizations for the near future.

899 (52%) of Arizona’s 1730 ICU beds were occupied for Covid-19 care, a 13% increase from last week. An additional 174 (10%) beds remain available which is about the same as the 171 beds available last week. About 50 ICU beds were added to Arizona’s total capacity on July 10th.

Most ICUs are at or over their capacity limits with regard to an adequate supply of health care workers; some hospitals are near or at capacity for ICU beds. Widespread personnel shortages are already being reported in critical care settings. Local conditions will provide a better indicator of critical capacity than state-wide trends.

With 204 deaths reported to date, the week ending June 28th is now the week with the largest number of Covid-19 deaths eclipsing the 202 deaths the week ending June 21st. This increase is consistent with the recent increases in new cases. Given that case counts are still increasing, a larger number of deaths in the coming weeks is expected.

The shift towards younger, working-age adults has abated; therefore, future case increases will be more directly tied to hospital utilization and deaths.

June typically marks the nadir of Arizona hospital admission Arizona. From now until January, non-Covid hospitalizations are expected to increase putting additional strain on hospital capacity.