As cases surge, 3 in 4 US hospitals already facing COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal report finds 3 out of 4 U.S. hospitals surveyed are already treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Monday’s Health and Human Services inspector general’s office report finds hospitals expect to be overwhelmed as coronavirus cases rocket toward their anticipated peak by mid-April. Investigators say individual problems such as lagging testing, supply shortages and burned-out staff are feeding off each other, creating a vicious cycle. The federal watchdog agency is worried that could create a “domino effect” that overwhelms some hospitals, as happened in Europe. A group representing for-profit hospitals says facilities also are finding COVID-19 patients take longer to recover than patients with comparable illnesses like pneumonia and flu.