94% of ICU beds across Florida filled, data shows

Staffing shortages continue to remain a concern for Florida hospitals, as nearly 94 percent of the state’s adult intensive-care unit beds are occupied, data posted Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show.

Forty-seven hospitals across the state reported having critical staffing shortages, and 59 hospitals reported anticipating critical staffing shortages by the end of the week.

The staffing shortages and occupied ICU beds are driven by an increase in hospitalizations caused by the rampant spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus. Hospitals reported that 17,088 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 79 pediatric patients and 2,121 adult patients who were hospitalized Monday with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections. 

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Gov. Ron DeSantis has been opening state-supported monoclonal antibody treatment centers for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. DeSantis contends that the treatments, which give a boost to people’s immune systems, will help take pressure off hospitals. 

Meanwhile, the state’s largest physician and hospital associations have joined forces in creating public service announcements that encourage residents to get vaccinated.

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The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.