COVID-19 continues its surge in Maine, stressing hospitals

Maine is fortunate to be doing better than almost any other state in the U.S. when it comes to containing the pandemic, but that isn’t saying much. Over the past week Covid-19 has continued to surge here, with hospitals beginning to sound the alarm that their capacity and staff could be overwhelmed if the public doesn’t redouble their efforts to slow the spread of the disease.

I have two recent stories in the Portland Press Herald covering the latest developments. 

The first, from Thursday’s paper, looks at the state of capacity at the state’s hospitals, which said they were holding their own by converting ordinary medical-surgical beds to ICU units to meet demand, though Maine Medical Center and Southern Maine Health Care Medical Center were both beginning to feel stress even then.

The second, from yesterday’s print edition, provides an exclusive look at hospital-by-hospital Covid admissions and the trends over time. It shows a steep surge in recent days at MaineMed and record patient levels at most of the state’s other major hospitals, including MaineGeneral, SMHC, and CMMC. Details herein.