Florida hospitals are running out of beds due to the fresh COVID-19 onslaught caused by the highly contagious Delta variant. On Thursday, health staff in the US state rushed to place extra beds in conference rooms, auditoriums, corridors and cafeteria, and suspended elective surgeries and other non-emergency medical procedures as they struggled to treat COVID-19 patients.
Among other health facilities in Florida, the UF Health Jacksonville hospital is struggling to take in COVID-19 patients, who, according to medics are mostly in their 20s and 30s. The hospital, one to the leading health facilities in the state told reporters that the new patients being admitted are more serious health-wise than those who had flooded hospitals in the early months of the pandemic.
Sabrina Oetterer, a nurse, who works at the hospital labelled the situation as being “insane.” Every patient coming to the hospital has COVID-19, she told reporters. Florida now accounts for a fifth of all new Delta variant cases. The state reported 21,683 confirmed cases, over the last weekend with an alarming 10,207 hospitalizations, according to data released by the Florida Hospital Association.
“We are seeing a surge like we’ve not seen before in terms of the patients coming,” Memorial Healthcare System's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marc Napp said Wednesday during a news conference in Hollywood. “It’s the sheer number coming in at the same time. There are only so many beds, so many doctors, only so many nurses,” he added.
Florida is at the heart of the newest COVID-19 surge in the USA, and hospitals are struggling to reopen COVID-19 wards. Coronavirus infections have almost quadrupled in the last month, with almost 45,000 new cases. Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi account for over 40% of all hospitalizations. To add to the troubles, a majority of front-line medical workers in these four states are unvaccinated.
With just 35% of the total population fully inoculated, Mississippi has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the USA, followed by Louisiana and Georgia that stands at 38% vaccination. Florida has comparatively done better, vaccinating 49% of its total population.