US hospitals rush to find beds for surge of virus patients

U.S. hospitals are rushing to find beds for a coming flood of COVID-19 patients, opening older closed hospitals and re-purposing other medical buildings. Simple math is spurring hospital leaders to prepare. (File)
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SEATTLE (AP) U.S. hospitals are rushing to find beds for a coming flood of COVID-19 patients, opening older closed hospitals and re-purposing other medical buildings. Simple math is spurring hospital leaders to prepare.

With total U.S. cases now doubling every three days, empty intensive care unit beds, needed by an estimated 5% of the sick, will rapidly fill.

An Associated Press analysis of federal hospital data finds more than 7 million people age 60 and older - those most at risk of severe COVID-19 illness - live in counties without ICU beds.