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Maps: Track how full ICUs are with Covid patients across the U.S.

As omicron wanes, track hospital ICU stress levels among adult patients across the country.
A medical worker tends to a patient who has Covid-19 in a negative pressure room in the ICU at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., on Jan. 4, 2022.
A medical worker tends to a Covid patient in a negative pressure room in the ICU at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., on Jan. 4. Critical care facilities in Massachusetts measured at high levels of stress, one step short of extreme, in early January. Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images

In Arkansas, Covid patients are now almost half of the state’s adult intensive care unit beds, the highest rate in the nation.

In Mississippi, 42 percent of adult ICU beds are filled with Covid patients, up from 20 percent four weeks ago.

These are just two states where the share of Covid patients in ICUs are growing. As of Friday Feb. 4, 14 states have devoted more than one-third of of their ICU beds to Covid patients, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hospital ICU stress, a measure designed to help hospitals plan and manage their surge capacity, was a concept introduced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The scale is based on the share of ICU hospital beds used by Covid patients. Low-stress hospitals have less than 10 percent of critical care beds occupied by Covid patients; high-stress hospitals have 30 to 59 percent.

These maps show hospital ICU stress levels among adults and track how they have changed over time. They will be updated daily.

At Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, Connecticut, the ICU is full. It can send patients to other hospitals in its network, which helps keep it from being overwhelmed — as long as open beds exist elsewhere.

The president of the center, Gary Havican, said staffing is his biggest concern in the coming weeks.

“The surge is real,” Havican said in an email. “What’s also causing our volume to increase so dramatically is that during the first wave, people with other medical conditions were not going to hospitals for treatment due to the pandemic. Now, all those patients who stayed away the first time, are coming in for treatment — as they should.”

ICU stress is a companion to the IHME’s hospital stress level metric, which measures the total number of beds in use by Covid patients. These patients, regardless of whether they were admitted for the disease or contracted the disease while hospitalized, require more resources to care for, said Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor at the institute.

And measuring ICU stress may more accurately reflect the burden a hospital is under, Mokdad said in an email. “It’s easier for a hospital to increase bed capacity than it is for ICUs.”

NBC News is tracking hospital stress levels, hospitalization rates across the country, Covid case surges in each state, vaccination rates nationwide and whether the CDC recommends indoor masking in the county where you live.