FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – COVID-19 hospitalizations keep rising off the chart in Florida, and when you dig through the data, it shows concerning numbers particularly in South Florida.
Broward County led the nation in confirmed COVID-19 admissions from Aug. 3-9, metrics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show. Miami-Dade County had the third-most admissions in that week-long span.
Harris County, Texas, ranked No. 2, with Los Angeles County fourth and Orange County, Florida, fifth. Palm Beach County had the eighth-most.
“Our numbers are horrible,” Broward County Mayor Steve Geller said. “The number of children cases are horrible and they are also rapidly increasing.”
He’s pleading with community members to wear masks and get vaccinated against the virus.
“If you are not going to do the patriotic thing of getting a vaccine or wearing the mask, then do it to protect the children,” Geller said.
The Florida Hospital Association, meanwhile, reported Thursday that COVID-19 admissions across the state have surged to a new high of 15,358.
“In the past week, Florida has had more COVID cases than all 30 states with the lowest case rates combined,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday. “And Florida and Texas alone have accounted for nearly 40% of new hospitalizations across the country.”
Zients added that 200 ventilators have been sent to hospitals in the state.
“We realize very, very well that the data is absolute,” said Dr. O’Neil Pyke, chief medical officer at Jackson North Medical Center. “The folks who are actually vaccinated are being protected to the tune of 90+ percent. The folks who are unvaccinated continue to fill the hospitals.”
Pyke says that of those patients “at least one out of five” is intubated and put on a ventilator because of respiratory failure.
The mostly unvaccinated COVID-19 patients they are treating during this surge continue to skew younger.
“We’ve had folks in their 20s, in their 30s, and that group is probably the fastest-growing group among the COVID patients who are very sick requiring hospitalization,” Pyke said.
Memorial Healthcare System in Broward says that, as of Thursday morning, they were on the cusp of having more COVID-19 patients in their care than at any other time during the pandemic.
The federal data shows that 84% of Broward’s inpatient hospital beds were occupied, with 29% of those beds filled with COVID-19 patients.
In Miami-Dade, 89% of beds were filled, 25% by COVID patients.
Click here to see the federal data.
Broward County released new hospital data Thursday afternoon that can be seen below: