Florida Hospitals See Rise In Numbers of Coronavirus Patients

Tom Stevenson

Photo by Mufid Majnun

If you thought the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic might be over, you might need to think again. Covid is on the rise again in Florida and this time it's stretching some of the state's hospitals beyond what it experienced at any other point in the pandemic.

As I reported over the past few weeks, cases of Covid in Florida have been rising rapidly in recent weeks. Now, they're resulting in an increase in hospitalizations as well.

Hospitals in Florida reported that as of July 27, 81.94% of their inpatient beds are currently in use and 14.94% of those inpatient beds currently in use are for Covid. While 26.26% of the ICU beds are in use with 82.2% in use overall.

These numbers are concerning and could lead to hospitals being overwhelmed if cases continue to rise. With so many ICU beds in use, it only takes a small rise in infections for more beds to be taken up and get to the point where hospitals struggle to attend to people.

An area of concern in the state is on the First Coast, where hospitals, in particular, are starting to struggle. Baptists Health stated that there are 430 COVID-19 patients across their, 5-hospital health system, with 5 of them at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

The rise of cases in children is concerning as it suggests the pandemic is shifting to infecting younger people, as older people are now vaccinated and are protected from the worst of Covid.

The situation is similar in UF Health Jacksonville, where 177 patients are being treated for Covid. What's worrying about this number is that a majority of them are unvaccinated. Another sign that infections are now mostly among those who have opted not to take the vaccine for whatever reason.

This trend is highlighted by Mayo Clinic. They stated on July 15 that 95% of outpatient and hospitalized COVID-19 cases are now among the unvaccinated.

These numbers are limited to the First Coast area but they are concerning and highlight an overall trend. With cases on the rise across the state, they could be an indicator of what's to come for others parts of Florida.

Another concerning point is the CDC states the top 15 highest-risk counties are in Florida including the top three in the state: Baker, Nassau and Duval counties.

With just 47% of Florida's population fully vaccinated, the cause for concern is real. A resurgence in the virus is possible, especially with the more transmissible and deadly Delta variant now in the state.

Unless the number of fully vaccinated people in the state increases, somewhere towards 80% 0r 90% which should lead to herd immunity, hospitals are likely to struggle under another wave of a virus that should be under control by now.

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