SPRINGFIELD, MO — The United States passed a grim milestone this week, when the death toll from coronavirus topped half a million, but other statistics point to the slow waning of the pandemic.

Among these more optimistic figures is the number of new hospitalizations nationwide, which fell last week to just over 56,000, down sharply since the 130,000 recorded in mid-January and the lowest number since November.

Experts attribute the improvement to a variety of factors, including the greater use of masks and social distancing and the spread of vaccinations, especially among the most vulnerable populations.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which has been tracking the effect of COVID-19 on hospital capacity since early in the pandemic, releases data each week on tens of thousands of hospitals nationwide showing how close they are to reaching their limit. The latest data for hospitals in Christian County includes how many adult inpatient and ICU beds are occupied by patients confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

The new numbers, included below, are current through Thursday, Feb. 18, and represent a rolling seven-day average. Note that the figures for occupied hospital beds sometimes exceed 100 percent; this is because more than one patient sometimes occupies a bed over the course of a week.

Health experts have said that the share of a hospital's total beds devoted to coronavirus cases is key to understanding the strain on its resources. A share greater than 10 percent is said to be a cause of concern. When that share exceeds 20 percent, a hospital is said to be under extreme stress; and as the share approaches 50 percent, the stress is said to be immense.

Also this week, state health officials in Missouri reported to the federal government that 74 percent of inpatient beds and 79 percent of ICU beds in hospitals across the state were still occupied as of Feb. 20. Around 8 percent of beds statewide were filled by COVID-19 patients, they reported.

Below are the latest figures for hospitals in Christian County.

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Editor's note: This list was automatically generated using data compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . The local hospitals included in the list are limited to those included in the government data. Please report any errors or other feedback to .

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