In many ways, Florida’s current COVID-19 crisis is the worst in the nation
Image via Bloomberg.

Houston Hospital Struggles With Coronavirus Surge In Texas
Florida has the most COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions, and deaths reported recently.

At his news conference Tuesday morning in Miami, Gov. Ron DeSantis sounded frustrated at how much attention the news media are paying to Florida’s COVID-19 case numbers and hospital admissions.

Yet in many ways, Florida’s summer COVID-19 surge appears to be the worst in the country by far, and its certainly the worst public health crisis Florida has suffered throughout the 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis’ latest frustration was expressed on a day that federal data cited by the Florida Hospital Association showed Florida with 11,515 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in one day. His administration has challenged whether that figure represents a record day for Florida in the COVID-19 pandemic era, as some media and DeSantis’ critics have charged, but much of that dispute involves which data sets are used.

Regardless of when Florida exceeds its worst days of the summer of 2020, for weeks now the state has led the nation in the numbers of new COVID-19 cases, confirming 110,000 last week, and more than 21,000 cases on Friday.

The Sunshine State also clearly is leading the nation in other COVID-19 categories. Florida’s hospitals are feeling the crush.

“The bottom line really needs to be: COVID hospitalizations have increased dramatically and we have surpassed the July peak of 2020,” Florida Hospital Association President Mary Mayhew said Tuesday.

“If you take a step back from the data, we’re trying to understand the impact of the delta variant. We know it is more infectious. It is attacking a younger population in their 20s and their 30s, and previously, prior to the delta variant, would not have landed at this level, in the hospital,” Mayhew said.

One thing is for sure: more than 90% of those being hospitalized are unvaccinated.

“It is ripping through the unvaccinated and it is putting 25 year olds in the hospital, in intensive care, and on ventilators,” Mayhew said.

Based on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data, how is Florida stacking up? Through Saturday, the most recent day for which a full, national set was available:

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— If compared to the total number of inpatient beds used for COVID-19 cases, apparently the figure cited by state authorities, there were 11,909 on July 23, 2020, more than the 11,515 reported Tuesday for Monday in Florida.

Regardless, that July 23, 2020, worst-ever hospital load inevitably will be eclipsed soon, probably this week, as Florida’s hospitalization numbers have been climbing by hundreds of additional COVID-19 patients each day recently.

— If compared to the total of adults or children confirmed positive for COVID-19 in Florida hospitals, the figure reported by the Florida Hospital Association, Tuesday’s total surely is a worst-ever day for Florida.

The reported total for Monday of 11,515 topped the 10,378 recorded on July 25, 2020, as did the total reported for Sunday, of 10,389.

— No other state in America is seeing nearly as many COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals as Florida.

On Saturday, Florida’s total of 10,211 was almost as many as the next two states combined. Texas reported 6,512 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, and California, 4,353. Georgia was fourth, reporting 2,416 in-patient beds used for COVID-19 patients.

— It’s getting worse. Almost every day last week, Florida hospitals combined to report newly admitting more confirmed COVID-19 patients than Florida had experienced in any previous day of the coronavirus crisis.

On Saturday, 1,749 adults and 50 children were newly admitted to Florida hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19, more than Texas and California combined on that day. On Saturday, Texas reported 956 newly admitted COVID-19 patients of all ages, and California, 678. Georgia was fourth again, with 537 new COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

— In Florida, 84% of all inpatient beds were in use on Saturday. That was not the nation’s highest, partly because Florida has a large and robust system of hospitals, with more beds available per capita than most states.

In Rhode Island, 91% of hospital beds were in use. In Missouri and Massachusetts, 85% of all hospital inpatient beds were in use. Maryland and Georgia also were at 84% with Florida.

— Yet Florida had the highest percentage in the nation of its hospital beds being used for COVID-19 patients, 21% of all hospital beds on Saturday.

Louisiana was second with 17%. In Nevada, 16% of all hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients. In Arkansas and Mississippi, 15% of hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients.

— In Florida, 87% of intensive care unit beds were in use Saturday, the third highest rate in the country.

In Alabama, 89% of ICU beds were filled on Saturday; in Missouri, 88%.

— In Florida, 32% of all ICU beds were filled with COVID-19 patients on Saturday, the third highest rate in the country.

Missouri reported 35% of its hospital ICU beds were occupied on Saturday by COVID-19 patients, and Arkansas had 33% of ICU beds filled with COVID-19 patients.

— Broken down by age brackets, on Saturday Florida newly admitted the most 18 and 19 year-old COVID-19 patients to hospitals of any state in the country, with 19 new patients; the most COVID-19 patients in their 20s, with 113; the most in their 30s, with 201; the most in their 40s, with 251; the most in their 50s, with 325; the most in their 60s, with 307; the most in their 70s, with 252; and the most age 80 or older, with 211. (Another 70 adult COVID-19 patients admitted Saturday were listed as age unknown.)

Texas admitted the second-most 18 and 19 year old COVID patients Saturday, 10, and the second-most patients age 80 or older, 77.

— In Florida, hospitals reported 92 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, the most in the country.

In Texas, 48 deaths were reported Saturday; in California, 25; and in Missouri, 22.

— In Florida, 33 hospitals said on Saturday they currently had a critical staffing shortage, 167 said they did not, and 59 did not report an answer.

In California, 71 hospitals reported critical staffing shortages, though 308 said they did not have such shortages. In Louisiana, 45 hospitals reported critical staff shortages, and 173 said they were fine, and in Oklahoma, 36 reported critical staff shortages with 103 indicating sufficient staff. All other states had fewer hospitals than Florida reporting critical staff shortages.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


15 comments

  • Jmj USA

    August 3, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    … Yawn… One tires of the biased junk spewed on FP…. Anything not demon-o-crat is bad…
    Its great to see these pro-choicers defending people’s freedom and choice when it comes to the Faux-chinese wuhan disaster…

    • Matthew Lusk

      August 4, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Well, I can say one good thing about FP. They have never censored my very conservative comments and The debunking of some obvious Leftist slants. I suspect 80% of F.P. readership is conservative. Allowing chat comments make for a very good debate. May the truth tellers win.

    • JB

      August 5, 2021 at 10:01 am

      And we tire of idiots who ignore reality. Local hospitals here are filling up with Covid anti vaxxers. Elective and non emergency surgeries being canceled or pushed back.

  • Andrew Finn

    August 3, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    Our Covid19 crisis should be the worst in the nation. Our “governor” is the worst in the nation too. Perfect match.

  • Tom

    August 4, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    That’s what FP and hysterical media what’s all to believe. Aristocrat media and Dems. What a team.

    • Tom Palmer

      August 5, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Let’s see your figures and data.

  • Alex

    August 4, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Oh good.

    Let’s make even more human incubators so the virus has the best possible conditions to mutate into something worse.

    We should name it the Florida variant as a warning how not to do it in the future.

    • Matthew Lusk

      August 4, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      The white house press could not come up with what test they are using to distinguish the delta variant. BUSTED again. There is no test being used it’s all smoke and mirrors.

  • Matthew Lusk

    August 4, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    If you have a fake test kit, and you can use the result To obtain thousand of tax dollars on just one patient. And you are an amoral s.o.b., Well, you know the rest. “Trusted””hospital administrators , The pharma industrial complex and political scum are behind the fake pandemic. Nurses and PAs and many doctors don’t know jack chit about what they are passing along.

    • Joseph Cox

      August 4, 2021 at 3:30 pm

      The nurses and the doctors are seeing and treating these Covid cases. The administrators are only reporting the totals, no politics here.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 4, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Good gracious! Duffus Desantis is going to be tested with the another mutant thriving and killing Floridians in south Florida! Lambda!

  • zhombre

    August 4, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Fewer deaths, thank G-d, and more vaccinations. And what of herd immunity?

  • Jana

    August 11, 2021 at 10:24 am

    I don’t think what the author or any of you people who think Desantis is doing a bad job, realizes that Florida is open for business. Theme parks, beaches, restaurants the list goes on and on, so of course you are going to see a surge in the summer months when everybody is coming to Florida for summer break. Just go to a theme park, 75% of the people there are not Floridians. How about we treat this thing like the flu, and move on…

  • David

    August 13, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Deaths compared to the same time last year?

Comments are closed.


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