COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to mount in Florida

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is hitting a record. According to the COVID Tracking Project, more than 73,000 people are currently in hospital beds nationwide.

Health officials in Florida are closely monitoring the situation in the Sunshine State, where numbers are still far below the record hospitalization totals from the summer. However, medical officials warn this resurgence will get worse without a renewed focus on social distancing, wearing face coverings, and hand washing.

The latest numbers from the state Monday night show 3,243 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s a 31% increase from just two weeks ago, and up about 58% from last month.

“It is not yet at the level it was back in July and August; at that point, the state had nearly 10,000 patients who were admitted to the hospital with a primary diagnosis of COVID,” said Justin Senior, CEO of Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida.

The association is made up of 14 hospital systems, including Tampa General, Johns Hopkins All Children’s, and Sarasota Memorial Hospitals.

The group of critical care centers have treated an estimated 60% of all COVID-19 patients in the state.

“They are seeing this up-tick and everybody’s watching with a lot of caution and hopefully this isn’t something that really starts to build,” Senior said.

More than 25% of ICU beds statewide are still open, and there is plenty of capacity in Bay Area hospitals.

“I think we’re in a much better position as a state now then we were in the summer, and in a much better position as a state back in certainly back in the spring,” said Senior.

He says that is the bright spot in this spike, that the hospitals now have experience on their side.

There are multiple treatment weapons available to physicians that did not have approval back in the summer, hospitals are communicating better, and there are no more PPE supply chain issues or test kit shortages to deal with.

“The hospitals have actually been through it, they know the protocols for getting these patients into the hospital for testing them, for isolating them, for how to serve them when they’re in the hospital to get the best results,” Senior said.

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4,663 new Florida coronavirus cases reported Monday; 41 new deaths

The Florida Department of Health says the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 4,663 Monday. According to the state's daily update, the total number of cases in Florida is now 889,864.