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Hospital Readiness for COVID-19: Analysis of Bed Capacity and How it Varies across the Country

03.2020 / By Urban Institute

This report presents estimates of the number of occupied versus unoccupied beds at the national, state, and county levels, using data from the 2018 American Hospital Association Annual Survey.

Across the nation, concerns are mounting that the need for hospital beds will overwhelm national capacity as the COVID-19 outbreak expands, and this report finds just 0.8 unoccupied beds per 1,000 people in the United States. Research has identified many strategies for increasing hospital surge capacity and managing patient flow, and understanding how hospital capacity varies across the country is essential to targeting these strategies appropriately and responding effectively to the pandemic.