Patti Neighmond

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For many young people, sheltering at home means missing milestones and public recognition of their achievements. This is especially true for seniors graduating from high school and college.

Kendall Smith, a high school senior who lives in Tallahassee, Fla., says her school has many traditions leading up to graduation. But this year things are very different.

As many cities and regions of the country brace for a surge of coronavirus patients over the next few weeks, hospitals are scrambling to get ready. The increase in costs to convert beds, buy equipment and increase staffing time in order to care for critically ill COVID-19 patients is adding up at a time when revenues are down.

And the resources they have to turn to may vary, depending on the demographics of the patients they serve.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

As the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads across the United States, there are continuing concerns among hospitals, public health experts and government leaders that hospital intensive care units would be hard-pressed to handle a surge in seriously ill patients.

A key limiting factor to being able to provide good care, they say, is the number of ventilation machines — ventilators — a hospital has on hand to help the most seriously ill patients breathe.

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