COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida dip

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Florida continued to decrease Thursday, with hospitals reporting they had 14,949 patients with the virus, according to data posted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Florida had 15,177 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday and 15,682 on Tuesday. The percentage of hospital patients with COVID-19 also dipped Thursday to just under 31%. 

While Florida has led the nation in the percentage of inpatients with COVID-19, it was second Thursday to Georgia, where more than 32% of inpatients had the virus. 

Forty-six Florida hospitals reported facing critical staffing shortages on Thursday, and 48 hospitals said they expected to have critical staffing shortages by the end of the week. 

Meanwhile, the state reported 21,392 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to data posted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida has had 45,909 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, according to the CDC.

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