Is Connecticut ready for COVID-19?

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Almost half (45%) of Connecticut adults have one or more clinical risks that could complicate COVID-19 infections, very close to the US average of 44%, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund. The report compares states across clinical risk factors of adults, state health system capacity, insurance coverage and other cost barriers to care. Connecticut’s capacity to handle a surge is a concern. Our supplies of critical resources are below the US average in per capita hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, and public health funding but our clinician capacity across relevant categories is well above the rest of the nation. A Harvard study found that if 40% of adults in the New Haven region were infected over the next 12 months, hospitals would have to empty or add 121% to current occupied beds to meet the need, worse than New York City. The Commonwealth Fund report found that Connecticut residents are more likely to be insured and fewer have high medical costs than other Americans (at least before the massive layoffs) but deductibles are much higher here. In comparison, adults living in New York state have about the same health risk levels as we do, but they spend almost three times as much per capita on public health (well above the US average) and have slightly more ICU beds per capita than we do (but still below the US average).