What counts as a "COVID patient" in a hospital bed?

I’ve seen the claim that statistics regarding hospital resource utilization by COVID patients are being overstated, in that a patient occupying a bed for treatment of something other than COVID (e.g. a stroke) will be put in the category of “COVID patient” if they test positive for the coronavirus - even if they are asymptomatic.

Can anyone confirm whether this is a common practice (or that it happens at all)?

If a patient tests positive for COVID - no matter what brought them to the hospital - they are placed in COVID isolation and are occupying a “COVID bed”.

I’m certain this is universal practice.


I’m not sure how that’s “overstating” things, either.

If a patient has a highly contagious disease, they’re going to need more resources, even if they’re in the hospital for another reason. You can’t just stick them anywhere you please. They’re clearly a risk to patients and staff who aren’t infected.

ETA: Also, in light of stories of hospitals running low on oxygen, it boggles the mind that this sort of conspiracy theory gets any traction.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. They have to be put in isolation and away from other patients to prevent spread.

If by “away from other patients” you mean not in the same room, that is correct.

On the other hand, hospital units that house immunocompromised patients would not place any COVID cases in that area.


I’m assuming they have a completely different ICU that is physically separated from the regular ICU and has separate nursing/physician staff.

Not in my experience.


Good god! :astonished:

What I’ve seen is that the COVID patients are in the same ICU as non-COVID patients, but in negative pressure rooms, so isolated from other patients.