ICU Beds in the US: Explore a Map of Coronavirus Readiness

COVID-19 has caused chaos and mass disruption in the lives of everyone around the world, especially those in major cities. In the U.S., New York City accounts for over 70% of the state’s coronavirus deaths. Yet some cities in the U.S. are better equipped to handle the sudden influx of severely ill patients than others. Part of a city’s pandemic response depends on the number of available intensive care units—or ICU—beds. ICU beds are reserved for patients with severe or life-threatening illnesses—like COVID-19—and injuries. These patients require constant medical attention, which they’ll get in an ICU.

There are roughly 93,000 ICU beds in the U.S. and they are differently distributed around the country’s cities. Each city’s ICU data is available as the number of ICU beds per 10,000 people older than 15. The U.S.’s national average is 3.6 beds per 10,000 people. Several states also have over five cities with more than average number of ICU beds. Others aren’t as prepared. There are some clear regional differences in ICUs, which we can see thanks to BatchGeo’s automatic ranges on the map below.

View ICU beds by city in a full screen map

We gathered this ICU data in late March 2020 from The Washington Post. In areas where more beds are needed, regional governments may be working to improve the situation. That said, this map helps show preparedness as the outbreak ramped up. To take into account the differing populations of these cities, the data was gathered as number of ICU beds per 10,000 people. Let’s discover the cities with the most—and the least—beds available.

Ten Cities With the Most and Least ICU Beds

With patients facing severe or life-threatening illnesses and injuries—COVID-19 related or not—the more ICU beds available, the faster and better care they receive. While the U.S.’s national average is about 3.6 ICU beds per 10,000 patients, the following cities have ICU beds nearly double that. Out of the 307 cities with accessible ICU data, the ten below are home to the most ICU beds.

City State ICU beds per 10,000
AUGUSTA GA 7.2 (*tie*)
FLORENCE SC 7.2 (*tie*)
HUNTINGTON WV 7.2 (*tie*)
LONGVIEW TX 6.5 (*tie*)
LUBBOCK TX 6.5 (*tie*)

As you can see on the table, Slidell, Louisiana is the city containing the most ICUs. With 10.6 beds per 10,000 people, Slidell can offer care-seeking patients 3.1x as many ICU beds per 10,000 people than even the second-best city. That second-best city is Duluth, Minnesota, which offers 7.5 ICU beds for every 10,000 patients. Next comes Augusta, Georgia, Florence, South Carolina, and Huntington, West Virginia. These Southeastern cities offer the same number of ICU beds (7.2) per 10,000 people.

Rochester, Minnesota has 6.9 beds available per 10,000 folks and frankly, we’ve decided to move there. Following Rochester are Birmingham, Alabama, Longview and Lubbock, Texas, and Durham, North Carolina, which all are just below seven beds per 10,000 people. Note that like Minnesota, Texas also has two cities in the top ten. Other than those four Minnesota and Texas cities, the top ten consists of cities located in the Southeastern states of Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina.

To view more cities with lots of ICU beds per 10,000 patients, check out the map. For now, let’s move on from the best cities to the worst cities.

Cities With Very Few ICUs

While the cities with the most ICU beds may occasionally see one or two beds go unneeded, cities with few ICUs aren’t likely to have any to spare. The following ten cities could really use some more ICU beds, especially as we combat the coronavirus.

City State ICU beds per 10,000
DUBUQUE IA 1.4 (*tie*)
SANTA CRUZ CA 1.4 (*tie*)
WICHITA FALLS TX 1.5 (*tie*)
EVERETT WA 1.5 (*tie*)
MODESTO CA 1.7 (*tie*)
LAFAYETTE IN 1.7 (*tie*)
MASON CITY IA 1.7 (*tie*)
PONTIAC Ml 1.7 (*tie*)
HACKENSACK NJ 1.7 (*tie*)
MORRISTOWN NJ 1.7 (*tie*)

As the table above depicts, Fort Collins, Colorado has exactly one ICU bed for every 10,000 patients—not the most comforting thing to hear in the middle of a pandemic. Following Fort Collins are Dubuque, Iowa and Santa Cruz, California, both of which can offer patients 1.4 ICU beds per 10,000. And Dubuque isn’t the only city in Iowa with a significantly low number of ICU beds. Mason City, Iowa has just 1.7 ICU beds per 10,000 patients. Along with Iowa, California also has two cities in the bottom 10, as does New Jersey. It’s time for these cities to step up their ICU game, especially during these trying times.

In some cases, residents of cities with few ICU beds may be able to be transferred to other areas. It can be useful to look beyond the city level to see which states offer the greatest—and least—ICU protection.

States With the Most and Least Cities Above Average

Nine states contain five or more cities with greater ICU bed amounts than the national average. In these states, extremely ill or injured patients have better chances to gain access to an ICU bed.

  • Texas – (14)
  • Florida – (13)
  • Ohio – (7)
  • Tennessee – (6)
  • Michigan – (6)
  • Louisiana – (6)
  • Indiana – (6)
  • North Carolina – (5)
  • Illinois – (5)

Fourteen cities in Texas have more ICU beds than the national average. These include previously-mentioned cities like Longview and Lubbock, along with Abilene, McAllen, Amarillo, San Antonio, Tyler, Victoria, Fort Worth, Dallas, Harlington, Corpus Christi, Houston, and Temple, Texas. Florida is similar to Texas in that it has 13 cities above the national average for ICU beds. These 13 cities are Ormond Beach, Gainesville, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Hudson, Orlando, Panama City, Sarasota, Tampa, Clearwater, Miami, and Pensacola.

Ohio is home to the third-most cities above average: seven. Cities like Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, Canton, and Kettering all have more ICU beds per 10,000 people than the nation’s average of 3.6 beds. To see the cities above average in Tennessee, Michigan, and the states on the list, click through the map. Inversely, the map can also help you identify the states with the most cities below average, though they’re also listed below.

States Below National Average

On the opposite end of the healthcare spectrum, there are a lot more states with five or more cities containing ICU beds below that of the national average (3.6 ICU beds per 10,000 people). These states are:

  • California – (21)
  • Pennsylvania – (10)
  • New York – (10)
  • Michigan – (9)
  • Texas – (8)
  • Illinois – (8)
  • Virginia – (7)
  • Wisconsin – (6)
  • Washington – (6)
  • Iowa – (6)
  • Oregon – (5)
  • New Jersey – (5)
  • Georgia – (5)
  • Florida – (5)
  • Colorado – (5)

Twenty-one cities in California have ICU beds below the national average. You may also note that Texas, Michigan, Illinois, and Florida appear on both the top and the bottom list. These states are home to both a large number of cities above and below national average. To see the many cities below national average in the other 13 states, take a peek at the map.

Regional Differences in U.S. ICUs

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

There are a lot of ways to analyze this data. Just browsing the map, we see regional differences in ICUs thanks to BatchGeo’s automatic ranges. When sorting the map by range to identify the ten cities with the most ICU beds (“10.6-6.1”), we see that the majority of these cities are based in the Southeast or the Midwest, along with the three cities in Texas that represent the Southwest. There is not one city in the West that is in the highest range of ICU beds. Even when we add the next-highest range to our sorting of the map (“6-5.1”), we see the same pattern: cities in the Southeast and the Midwest have more ICU beds.

When mapmaking with BatchGeo, our mapping tool automatically organizes any data not related to location into useful ranges that help with sorting your maps. You get the benefit of additional insight into your data, not just by visualizing it geographically, but also by sorting your map by the different ranges. Get started with BatchGeo today for free.

Student’s Map Becomes a Pandemic Resource

Nearly one of every five Philadelphia residents are unable to always afford sufficient food, according to Hunger Free America. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this problem could become a crisis. One graduate student found herself with a research project that took on a whole new importance. With the help of BatchGeo, she mapped free food resources in her neighborhood of South Philly.

View Free Food in South Philly in a full screen map

Laura Rathsmill is a graduate student at Widener University studying social work. Professor Marina Barnett assigned a project about food insecurity, so Rathsmill decided to research her neighborhood. “Then COVID-19 happened, so there became a special focus on food insecurity,” she told the South Philly Review.

Laura Rathsmill

Rathsmill intensified her research to create a comprehensive guide to free food in South Philly, covering its four zip codes. She organized the data in a spreadsheet with columns for special populations served, hours, and types of resources. Importantly, each location also includes an address.

Excel documents with location data can easily be converted into a map when you copy and paste them into BatchGeo. That’s exactly what Rathsmill did, making her map of food resources browsable by anyone in need.

There have been huge lines at locations that serve everyone. Rathsmill’s map can be used to only display sites serving children, for example. The color of map markers note the populations served. Map viewers can also click specific marker types to display only those that are selected.

Visualizing resources like this on a map helps people understand what options are closest. It might also aid social workers to determine areas currently being overlooked, based on where there are fewer locations.

You can bring important data to your community with a free BatchGeo map.

Bear Attack Statistics of North America

As humans take up more and more space in the world, they’re bound to come into contact with wildlife. Many in the animal kingdom are fierce predators—especially bears. Statistics suggest there have been over 180 fatal bear attacks in North America since 1784. While the majority of these fatal attacks have been carried out by wild bears, some are the result of bears held in captivity.

If humans could try their best to avoid certain types of bears (like the most dangerous type) and the locations bears frequent during their active months, perhaps fatal bear attacks in North America could decrease. Let’s make sure you’re aware of the #1 most dangerous bear, the fatal bear attack hotspots of the continent, and the months you’re most likely to come face-to-face with the deadly predator.

View Fatal bear attacks in North America in a full screen map

We mapped the bear attack statistics from Wikipedia’s List of fatal bear attacks in North America. The oldest person to be attacked and killed by a bear was 93. The youngest? Five months. However, people tend to be 37.5 years, on average, when they’re fatally attacked by one of the following types of bears.

The #1 Bear to Watch out For

Three types of bears are commonly involved in fatal North American attacks: polar bears, black bears, and brown bears. These bears have been responsible for over 180 fatalities over the years. They’ve killed cabin-goers, campers, and joggers, as well as miners, researchers, and children, among others. But which of these bears has killed the most people?

Fatal Polar Bear Attacks

Photo by Bao Menglong on Unsplash

There have been 11 fatal polar bear attacks in North America. Seven of these attacks were done by wild polar bears, all of which took place in Canada or Alaska.

No one in the continental United States has ever been fatally attacked by a wild polar bear. However, captive polar bears are responsible for four fatal North American attacks, which all occurred in Eastern U.S. zoos. Just years apart, the Toledo Zoo (1972), Baltimore Zoo (1976), Central Park Zoo (1982), and Prospect Park Zoo (1987) were the sites of captive polar bear attacks.

While 11 total lives lost to polar bears isn’t something to sniff at, other types of bears are certainly more dangerous. Black bears, for example, have fatally attacked 82 people in North America.

Fatal Black Bear Attacks

Of the 82 fatal black bear attacks in North America, 66 or just over 80% have been from wild bears. If you think the high number of attacks proves dangerous, note that those 66 fatal wild black bear attacks occurred all over North America. Unlike with polar bears, nearly everyone living in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico is susceptible to a wild black bear attack.

On the other hand, like polar bears, captive fatal black bear attacks have only occurred in the U.S. (and once in Ontario, Canada). There have been 16 of these fatal attacks, most taking place in the Northeast like when George Langley and James Virtue were attacked by the black bear they kept in a cage at their gas station in Ellsworth, Maine. Yet even with 82 total fatal attacks, black bears are still not the deadliest bear in North America.

Fatal Brown Bear Attacks

The #1 deadliest bear to watch out for is the brown bear. Brown bears are responsible for 90 fatal bear attacks in North America, 82 of which were done by wild bears. And every single one took place on the West side of the continent, where most brown bears live.

One recent victim of a brown bear attack was Kevin Kammer, who was killed in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest in 2010. Kammer was in his tent at Soda Butte Campground when a mother bear attacked and dragged him 25 feet away. Two other campers in separate campsites were also attacked: a teenager was bitten in the leg, and a woman was bitten in the arm and leg.

However, the Eastern side of the continent has seen a brown bear attack or eight, though they were all done by captive bears. Thomas Earl, a 56-year old zookeeper at the Cleveland Brookside Zoo in Ohio, was mauled by a brown bear when feeding it in its pen. So, while the East needn’t keep their eyes peeled for a wild brown bear attack, Easterners in the U.S. should beware of zoos.

Bear Attack Hotspots

Now that you know the types of bears to look out for, let’s understand the North American locations where fatal bear attacks typically occur. We can do so by turning on the heat map function of BatchGeo, which helps to identify the densest areas of fatal bear attacks (or any other marker. Read more about the heat map function for your Excel spreadsheet here).

Photo of Glacier National Park by Shane Stagner on Unsplash

The winner—or loser if you frequent these locations? According to bear attack statistics, it’s Montana’s Glacier National Park which is home to ten fatal bear attacks, all of which were brown bears. However, since all ten fatal bear attacks occurred between 1967 and 1998, we’ll also note a more recent fatal bear attack hotspot: the state of Wyoming.

Wyoming and specifically, Yellowstone National Park is another breeding ground for fatal bear attacks. Yellowstone has been the site of eight, including recent attacks in 2015 and 2011. Like Montana’s Glacier National Park, all of Yellowstone’s bear fatalities were caused by brown bears. Additionally, the NW corner of Wyoming is one big bear attack hotspot. Along with Yellowstone, that area contains both Bridge-Teton National Forest (where two fatal bear attacks took place) and Shoshone National Forest (home of one attack).

There are several additional bear attack hotspots in Alaska and also in the Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Ultimately, fatal bear attack locations in North America can be summarized as follows for each country:

  • Mexico (1 attack)
  • Canada (70)
  • U.S. (112)

Broken down even further, it amounts to:

  • Mexico (1 wild, 0 captive)
  • Canada (69 wild, 1 captive)
  • U.S. (85 wild, 27 captive)

Seeing the U.S.’s double-digit captive fatal bear attacks side by side with those from other countries (zero or one) is certainly hard to bear.

Deadliest Months for Bear Attacks

We know that if we’re walking the Wyoming countryside we’ll probably spot a brown bear and be toast, but is there ever a time of year where that’s less likely? Luckily for us, bears hibernate. During those months, bears don’t attack at all… or at least less often. According to the table below, we’d feel safe hiking Yellowstone during the winter months (as long as we had mittens):

Month # of Attacks
January 3
February 1
March 1
April 4
May 17
June 22
July 28
August 32
September 28
October 28
November 12
December 4

There have only been a handful of fatal bear attacks in the winter months since 1784. We have hibernation to thank for this one. Yet if bears are supposed to be sleeping, why are there any deaths at all? Truth be told, if someone woke us up during our long winter nap, we’d also be pretty upset. But we’re even more upset that hiking bear hotspots is out of the question during the summer months.

The summer months are chock full of fatal bear attacks, though it does make sense that most attacks occur when both bears and humans are spending an increased amount of time outdoors. It’s also logical that attacks slow down in November as it nears the time for hibernation.

We learned brown bears cause the most fatalities, particularly those near Glacier National Park or Yellowstone that are out and about in August. And we saw those trends clearly when we looked at a map.

Plotting your location data on a map to your skills and improve your insight. Who knows? Maybe your newfound knowledge into bear attack statistics can help prevent future bear attacks or even worse, shark attacks. Either way, make a map of your data today. Get started for free with BatchGeo.