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Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming are experiencing the largest spikes in new COVID-19 cases and are also among states considered least prepared, according to a study of Kaiser Family Foundation hospital capacity information.

The study also showed that Wyoming, Montana and Hawaii are considered to have the least prepared hospitals. In addition, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming have some of the largest COVID-19 cases per 1,000 people and are states with unprepared hospitals.

The study was released recently by an online insurance company called QuoteWizard.

QuoteWizard’s analysis of Kaiser Family Foundation hospital capacity data found a correlation between states that are seeing increased hospitalization due to COVID-19 and those that already rated poorly for hospital capacity before the pandemic, the company announced in the release.

“Montana’s COVID-19 cases reached above 40,000, a record number as we enter the much anticipated second wave. The national surge in hospitalizations causes a major concern in ICU hospital bed and physician capacity.

“Our team of healthcare analysts at QuoteWizard found that Montana has an average of .23 ICU hospital beds and 2.18 certified physicians per 1,000 residents, making it the second least prepared hospital capacity in the nation,” according to the study by analyst Adam Johnson.

As of Nov. 13, the study found that Montana was using 77 percent of its intensive care units, while neighboring North Dakota had the highest number of ICUs being used at 89 percent. South Dakota had 82 percent of the ICUs being used, while Wyoming was down at 45 percent.

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