With worst to come, 3 in 4 US hospitals now facing COVID-19

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal report finds 3 out of 4 U.S. hospitals surveyed are already treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The report from the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office is due out Monday.

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The report finds hospitals across the nation expect to be overwhelmed as U.S. coronavirus cases rocket toward their anticipated peak by mid-April.

Investigators say the key insight is individual problems such as lagging testing, supply shortages and burned-out staff are feeding off each other, creating a vicious cycle.

The federal watchdog agency is worried that could create a “domino effect” that overwhelms some hospitals. A copy of the report was provided to The Associated Press.