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Many Older Amercians Live in Counties Without ICU Beds

Earl Neikirk, AP

Kaiser Health News reports millions of older Americans live in counties across the country with no ICU beds as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies. According to Kaiser’s most recent numbers, that lack of access poses a particular danger for people who are age 60 and older.

More than half the counties in America have no intensive care beds, posing a particular danger for more than 7 million people who are age 60 and up — older patients who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows.

Intensive care units have sophisticated equipment, such as bedside machines to monitor a patient’s heart rate and ventilators to help them breathe.  Fulton County has the largest number of ICU beds in the state, with 538, followed by DeKalb with 168. Athens-Clarke County has 104.

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