After hospitals nationwide struggled to keep pace earlier this year due to a spike in cases of COVID-19, influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), it appears the rate of new patients is slowing.

Data from the CDC suggests that, after peaking between December 2022 and January 2023, emergency visits and hospitalizations for the three respiratory viruses are currently on a slight downward trend.

Hospitals across the United States began nearing inpatient capacity amid the so-called “tripledemic” of these viruses, according to U.S. News & World Report.

This influx of respiratory illness cases coincided with a reported exodus of many medical professionals who purportedly left their field for various reasons, including burnout.

The agency also reported that influenza cases across the nation are beginning to decline, with clinical labs documenting a decreased rate of infection, with just over 2% of cases testing positive for influenza per the most recent available data, gathered on January 28.

But despite the number of recorded COVID-19 and seasonal viral infections seemingly decreasing across the nation, many hospitals across the nation are still at or near capacity.

According to the latest available data from the CDC, 77.80% of the inpatient beds in reporting hospitals in the U.S. were occupied as of February 7.

HHS Region 6, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana, reported a minutely higher occupancy at 77.85%. Just over 3% of these beds were occupied by people with COVID-19.

This marks a dip from the near-79% inpatient bed occupancy in HHS6 during the December and January respiratory virus hospitalization peaks. Since the start of last year, occupancy levels in the region have fluctuated between 72 and 80%.

Data compiled by the Commercial Appeal news agency suggests that 11 Dallas County hospitals, about 35%, were at or above 90% capacity as of January 27. Of those, 10 are more than 98% full, and one, Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital, was reporting 100% capacity for its inpatient hospital beds.

A combined 58% of Dallas County hospitals reported they were at 80% occupancy or above, per Commercial Appeal.

In Massachusetts, 87% of all inpatient hospital beds are occupied, according to CNN.

“Every day, our emergency room has a backlog of anywhere between 25 and 100 patients waiting for a bed upstairs. So if today, that number was 25, and two weeks ago, it was 100 – yes, that’s better, but there’s still a long line,” said Dr. Melissa Mattison, chief of hospital medicine at Mass General, per CNN.

Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient safety with the American Hospital Association, observed to CNN that inpatient occupancy rates have been trending up since even before COVID-19, but added that the measures taken during the height of the pandemic hospitalizations helped increase hospitals’ capacity for patients.

“Part of the reason we have the kind of inpatient hospital capacity that we have right now is that we do have a number of flexibilities that were granted to hospitals by [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] and other federal agencies and the states during Covid that are being used for a wide variety of patients,” said Foster, according to CNN.

“If those were to disappear overnight, we would be struggling to care for the current level of patients,” she continued.