The number of Florida hospitalizations for COVID-19 dropped for the first time in two weeks. But those patients continue to make up more than a quarter of all inpatients as available beds decline.
That’s according to data published Sunday by the federal Health and Human Services Department. The dashboard tracking bed use shows 84.4% of all hospital beds in the state to be in use, 27.74% of those filled by COVID-19 patients.
In total, 15,985 COVID-19 patients remain hospitalized. That’s a drop from the 16,100 reported hospitalized the day before. But it’s still more than half again the number reported on Aug. 1, the first in a 14-day run where the number of inpatients admitted with CoVID-19 exceeded those being discharged.
At this point, HHS says more than half the intensive care unit beds in use in Florida are occupied by COVID-19 patients. That’s 3,349 coronavirus-infected patients in the ICU out of 6,262 total ICU patients in the state. That statistic remains on a trend in the wrong direction, with 91.35% of ICU beds in Florida filled.
As much as a public threat is posed by the pandemic, hospital officials long warned another risk of the spreading pandemic remained the potential of overwhelming ICUs. Already, many Florida hospitals temporary limited visitation and even put a hold on elective surgeries.
While the arrival of vaccines seemed earlier this year to limit the spread of the virus substantially, Florida started to some of the nation’s highest numbers of reported of mutates virus strains. The arrival of the delta variant, a variation of the virus as contagious as the chickenpox and far more potent than the original virus causing COVID-19, has led to a surge of cases in the state of Florida.
At this point, more than 19% of hospitalizations in the U.S. were reported in Florida hospitals. The Mayo Clinic shows Florida averaging 21,655 cases per day, with 124,311 cases reported nationwide. That means the state is experiencing 105 infections per 100,000 people each day compared to a national rate of 39 cases per 100,000 people. Only Louisiana (127 per 100,000) and Alabama (110 per 100,000) report high per capita infection rates among the 50 U.S. states.