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Florida Continues Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Florida continues to set records for the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. (Photo: HHS Data)
Florida continues to set records for the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. (Photo: HHS Data)

More Floridians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any point in the pandemic: more than 12,400 patients across the sunshine state.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Nearly 2,500 Floridians are severely ill with COVID-19. That means 38 percent of all intensive care unit beds in Florida have COVID-19 patients.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a roundtable with hospital CEOs Wednesday. He emphasized that breakthrough cases, where people who are fully vaccinated still get COVID-19, are rare and hospitalizations are even rarer.

"We have seen a lot of fully vaccinated people test positive," DeSantis said. "So when people see that, some people will say man, these vaccines must not be doing their job."

Florida has not reached the level of daily deaths seen during the last wave of the pandemic. Desantis said that’s because a higher percentage of Florida seniors are vaccinated.

“About 55 percent of our inpatients are between 40 to 64 years old, so it’s a younger group," said Orlando Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. George Ralls. "Certainly heavily represented by unvaccinated patients. Unfortunately that vaccine message didn’t penetrate the way we had hoped with everybody, but definitely did protect that older group.”

DeSantis did not take questions from reporters at the roundtable. The roundtable did not have representatives from AdventHealth or Health First, the two hospital systems in Central Florida that have stopped doing elective surgeries because of the current surge.

According to the Florida Hospital Association, 60 percent of Florida’s hospitals say they will have a critical staff shortage in the next week.