Governor Ron DeSantis met with physicians and health care leaders Tuesday in Tallahassee regarding what is happening on the front lines of Covid-19. Florida hospitals have now received notification that additional shipments of Remdesivir were scheduled for delivery as soon as Tuesday this week. The Covid-19 investigational treatment has been shown to reduce illness severity and mortality in some patients with Covid-19.
“Florida continues to work with hospitals across the state. Over the past two weeks alone, my administration has helped hospitals secure 50k vials of critical Remdesivir treatment & we are encouraging Floridians who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate convalescent plasma,” said DeSantis.
Last week, Florida’s hospitals held a briefing with federal officials from the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlining the critical need for remdesivir, an investigational treatment shown to reduce illness severity and mortality in some patients with COVID-19.
In response, the federal government supplied more than 17,000 vials in less than 48 hours to help address crucial need as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our state. While we deeply appreciate the work of our federal partners, this initial shipment did not meet the incredible need we have for this live-saving drug. Florida’s hospitals are currently caring for approximately 10,000 COVID-19 patients, and more than 20 percent of those require intensive care.
“We deeply appreciate the leadership and support of Governor DeSantis and our federal partners for listening and responding to our hospitals’ needs by securing an additional 30,000 vials over the weekend to treat over 5,000 patients. This totals over 50,000 vials of this much-needed treatment within two weeks,” said Crystal Stickle, Florida Hospital Association Interim President, “In addition to remdesivir, Florida’s hospitals are grateful for the immediate staffing relief that the governor provided last week. This comes at a critical time for hospitals when staffing is the top priority for expanding our capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.”
DeSantis also emphasized monitoring hospital bed availability and Florida is in good shape with statewide nearly 24% of hospital beds and just under 20% of ICU beds are available.
“A more immediate concern than bed availability is ensuring hospitals have the medical personnel to staff the beds. Florida Division of Emergency Management is in the process of deploying 1,400 nurses to hospitals throughout the state,” said the governor.
DeSantis gave an update on Covid-19 patients over time, including discharge rates.
“Early on during the pandemic, Florida led the charge to prohibit the discharge of Covid-19 positive patients back to their residence in long-term care facilities and Florida Agency for Health Care Administration established Covid-exclusive nursing homes to care for these patients,” said DeSantis, “Covid-exclusive facilities are relieving pressure on both long-term care facilities and hospitals. Florida now has 20 of these facilities operational with 5 more pending. Ultimately, this will amount to nearly 1,700 beds.”