Florida Hospitals Face ICU Bed Shortages as State's Coronavirus Cases Continue to Soar

The state set a new one-day record Thursday with 156 deaths reported

Florida Hospital
People wearing masks wait to enter the Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida on July 8, 2020. Photo: CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

As Florida continues to see a surge of coronavirus cases, hospitals across the state are struggling to keep up with the influx of sick patients.

According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, 54 hospitals in Florida have zero available beds in their intensive care units, while another 40 hospitals have less than 10 percent bed availability in their ICUs.

Ten of the hospitals with no ICU beds available are located in the Miami-Dade County, the state's current COVID-19 hotspot.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN last week that most of the county's hospital beds and intensive care units have reached capacity with patients. "Our ventilator usage has gone up, close to 200 now, so we definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital,” Gimenez said.

In the last seven days, more than 77,000 positive coronavirus cases were logged by the Florida Department of Health.

According to the New York Times database, Florida has at least 301,802 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday morning, while over 4,500 people in the state have died.

Florida hospital

On Thursday, Florida saw its deadliest day yet since the pandemic began, with 156 fatalities, according to NBC News.

Prior to that, the state's single-day record for confirmed coronavirus cases was set on Sunday, when the state reported 15,000 new cases.

According to the state's Department of Health, nearly 143,000 people were tested on Saturday in Florida with 11.25 percent of the results coming back positive for coronavirus.

Miami Dade County
Cliff Hawkins/Getty

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a warning to Americans about how the numbers could get much higher if the coronavirus continues to spread at this rate.

“I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around,” Fauci said while testifying at Senate hearings in June. “And so I am very concerned.”

“I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing,” he added. “I will guarantee you that because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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