The novel coronavirus surge in the Sunshine State is now reflected in its hospitals. ICU beds in Florida are filling up as COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the state. Metro area hospitals are already reporting that they're reaching capacity.
"The ICU beds are very, very close to full," said Alan Harris, the emergency manager for Seminole County, which sits just north of Orlando.
Currently, five of the region's hospitals are reporting that their ICUs are at full capacity, according to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Despite the fill-up, Orlando's largest hospital systems says it still has room to combat the COVID-19 caseloads that continues to climb.
The situation is direr in South Florida, where the AHCA reported a total of 227 free ICU beds in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Overall, only 16% of ICU beds are open statewide.
"I think there were a couple of times when we were at max capacity as a hospital for just admitting patients," said Larkin Community Hospital's Dr. Nima Kabir to Miami's Local 10. "Right now, we have a lot of patients on the floors."
Tampa Bay and Jacksonville area hospitals are also seeing more patients.
I am getting many inquiries about ICU availability in Florida. Here is link from Florida Department of Health whic… https://t.co/ngmZfRrwwY— Daniel Uhlfelder (@Daniel Uhlfelder)1594168634.0
The shortage of ICU space comes as the state is in the middle of a record wave of COVID-19 case spikes. Over the July 4 weekend, Florida soared pass the 200,000 mark, bringing the state into the top five states with the most positive cases.
To respond to the sudden outbreak, cities and counties across the state have taken measures to protect the public from the virus.
JULY 7: The metrics published on the daily dashboard graphic are the most requested quick numbers. Find more extens… https://t.co/1qCV2beEXI— Seminole County, FL (@Seminole County, FL)1594149865.0
Most have implemented a mandatory face mask policy, with some carrying penalties if caught outside without one. Counties have also begun to crack down on businesses that flaunt the COVID-19 mitigation rules put into place.
Despite the increase, most of Florida remains in phase 2 of the state's recovery plan. The only rollback of Gov. DeSantis' reopening plan has been placed on bars and pubs, which were ordered to stop on-site consumption due to mass non-compliance with state rules.