Not all Covid waves look the same. Here’s a snapshot of the Delta surge

At first, Joyce Dombrouski thought it might just be some kind of blip. Maybe it was Montana’s summer tourists. But then, at one point this August, St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula had 30-plus Covid inpatients — “and we thought 30, a year ago, was a horrific number,” said Dombrouski, the chief executive of Providence Montana.

It just kept growing. Three or four admissions a day, then five or six, then seven. The hospital was nearing capacity. There were more Covid patients in the ICU than the team had seen before, and they tended to be younger now. “Our median age has dropped to the mid-40s, and at the start of the pandemic, it was between 70 to 80,” Dombrouski went on. Then, her team got a call from Oklahoma, three wide western states away, asking if St. Patrick could take a transfer patient.

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