Despite adding another 8,436 new coronavirus cases between Saturday and Sunday, statewide hospitalizations for people with their primary diagnosis as “COVID-19” remains steady. About 4,400 people remain hospitalized statewide for complications related to the virus.
And while the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations comprise a larger share of overall patients than before, there have been relatively fewer hospitalizations for other causes, meaning the state’s overall bed availability remains steady at about 15,000, or roughly 25 percent of total capacity. That number hasn’t changed in several weeks.
The state’s ICU bed situation remains in a similar state, with about 1,500 beds available statewide, or just over 23 percent of total capacity.
While hospitals in the state’s hardest-hit communities, including Broward and Miami-Dade, still have adequate bed capacity, four smaller counties spread across the state are stretched thin.
All of Lake City Medical Center’s 102 regular beds and 17 ICU beds are currently occupied, along with Calhoun County’s 10 patient beds, Hardee County’s 25 beds, and Okeechobee’s eight ICU beds all occupied.
The FDA is slated to meet this Thursday to decide on final approval for a vaccine candidate from Pfizer, and the following week on a vaccine from Moderna. Once approved, tens of thousands of Florida’s front-line health care workers are expected to receive the shot first. Widespread availability of the vaccine for the general public isn’t expected until early spring.