26% of Florida hospital beds remain open

About 74 percent of state hospital beds and about 79 percent of adult intensive care unit beds were occupied on Sunday as Florida faces a steady increase in COVID-19 cases, according to information published in line by the State Agency for Healthcare Administration.

However, the availability of beds varies at county level. In Miami Dade County, for example, 24% of hospital beds were available throughout the county and 26% of adult intensive care beds were available. In Broward County, 23% of hospital beds were available, but approximately 17% of adult intensive care beds were available. And in Palm Beach County, about 25% of general hospital beds were available, while about 24% of adult intensive care beds were available.

In northeast Florida, almost 34% of Duval County beds were available on Sunday, and more than half of Nassau County and St. Johns County hospital beds were available. But Clay County reported 22% availability, Alachua County had 19% beds available, and Baker County reported 15% availability.

Hospitals report the number of beds in the state’s emergency surveillance system, which can then be used by the public to examine the availability of health resources. The administration of Governor Ron DeSantis came under fire this week over data collection after the News Service of Florida reported that hospitals need to change the way they submit bed data to ICU. Instead of reporting the number of occupied intensive care beds to the state, the DeSantis administration asked hospitals to report the beds as occupied if a patient required intensive care services.

The state health department on Friday reported 8,942 new COVID-19 positive cases and the median age of people living with COVID-19 in Florida is now 42 years.

Copyright 2020 by News Service of Florida and WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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