Florida surpasses COVID-19 hospitalizations record as variant cases surge


MIAMI, FLORIDA – JULY 26: A healthcare worker at a drive-thru site setup by Miami-Dade and Nomi Health in Tropical Park prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine on July 26, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Miami-Dade County opened five new mobile vaccine and testing sites as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The site is has mostly Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high, and hospitals are treating more coronavirus patients than ever before.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services shows there are more than 10,000 people in Florida hospitals battling COVID-19 Monday morning.

The previous record was from July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread, when Florida had 10,170 hospitalizations, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Florida is now leading the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19, as hospitals around the state report having to put emergency room visitors in beds in hallways and others document a noticeable drop in the age of patients.

In the past week, Florida has averaged 1,525 adult hospitalizations a day and 35 daily pediatric hospitalizations. Both are the highest per capita rate in the nation, according to Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida.

This has the president’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other top medical officials concerned.

“If you look at the acceleration of the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially,” Fauci said.

Dr. Fauci said for those who haven’t been vaccinated yet, the time is now.

The Sunshine State is now the virus’ epicenter, recording 1 in 5 new infections in the United States. The state’s coronavirus cases jumped 50% last week, continuing a six-week surge. Over the past week, the Florida Department of Health reported more than 110,000 new COVID-19 cases.

Data shows 40% of the country is still not fully vaccinated against the virus. The unvaccinated make up more than 90% of those hospitalized with COVID-19.

This is forcing some hospitals to build new COVID-19 units.

“Things are going to get worse,” Fauci warned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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