About 76% of the state’s hospital beds and about 79% of adult intensive-care unit beds were occupied Friday as Florida faces a continuing surge in COVID-19 cases, according to information posted online by the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Availability of beds, however, varies at the county level.
In Miami Dade County, for example, 24% of hospital beds were available countywide, and 26% of adult ICU beds were available. In Broward County 23% of hospital beds were available, but about 17% of adult ICU beds were available. And in Palm Beach County, about 25% of general hospital beds were available, while about 24% of adult ICU beds were available.
In Pasco County, less than 17% of the general beds were available, and just about 6% of the adult ICU beds were available, with 131 of 140 beds filled. Less than 15% of the general beds were available in St. Lucie County.
Also, St. Lucie County has 90 adult ICU beds, with only eight remaining unoccupied on Friday.
Hospitals report the numbers of beds into the state’s Emergency Surveillance System, which then can be used by the public to review the availability of health resources.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration came under fire this week about data collection after The News Service of Florida reported that hospitals were being told to alter how they submit data about ICU beds.
Instead of reporting to the state the number of ICU beds occupied, the DeSantis administration asked hospitals to report the beds as being occupied if a patient required ICU-level services. Meanwhile Friday, the state Department of Health reported 8,942 new positive COVID-19 cases and that the median age of COVID-19-positive people in Florida is now 42.