Florida’s Hospital Bed Availability over 21% Despite Surge in Cases

A nurse prepares isolation rooms for any suspected cases of bird or swine flu at the Sarji
Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Florida reported more than 21 percent in hospital bed availability statewide as of Thursday morning, despite the month-long surge in cases of the Chinese coronavirus, which has ushered the Sunshine State to the forefront of the national conversation.

Florida’s Department of Health added 10,249 confirmed cases of the virus on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases, among residents and non-residents, to 389,868. The state has added more than 189,000 cases since July 5. Yet, hospital capacity statewide is remaining relatively steady, despite the dramatic surge in cases.

According to the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration, hospital bed availability statewide stood at 21.58 percent on Thursday morning. Miami-Dade, one of the hardest-hit counties, comprising 24 percent of the state’s total cases, reported 18.58 percent hospital bed availability on Thursday morning.

While several hospitals across the state are reporting no adult ICU bed availability, the statewide availability stands at 15.78 percent.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) addressed the rising concerns over ICU bed availability this week, reminding the public that ICUs tend to run around 88-90 percent capacity.

“An ICU is not a fixed product,” the governor explained. “If there’s expanded need then they can expand those types of services.”

That is precisely what is happening in Florida’s Polk County, with the Florida State Emergency Operations Center sending a mobile ICU unit to BayCare’s Winter Haven Hospital.

DeSantis also reminded the public that hospitals are treating a slew of injuries and ailments — not the virus alone.

“There is capacity, obviously to deal with COVID, but it’s also important to note, COVID-19 is just a fraction of what these hospitals are doing every day,” he stressed.

Florida reported a cumulative total of 22,644 resident hospitalizations on Thursday, representing less than six percent of total confirmed resident cases. The mortality rate stands at 1.4 percent.


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