According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nearly 15,800 patients are hospitalized with the virus.
More than 30 percent of all patients in Florida hospitals are sick with Covid as are over 50 percent of patients in intensive care units.
The surge has become so dire that officials in one county are telling residents to use 911 only if they have a ‘life-threatening emergency.’
Florida’s current situation demonstrates the dangers of being unvaccinated as the Indian ‘Delta’ variant dominates this new Covid wave.
Officials in Florida’s Brevard County are telling residents to avoid using 911 unless in a dire emergency. Pictured: A young woman arrives outside a Covid treatment tent at one of the county’s hospitals, in Palm Beach, July 2021
Florida is now seeing more Covid patients in its hospitals than at any other time during the pandemic, with over 2,000 people admitted each day in the past week
Florida is currently one of the nation’s biggest Covid hotspots, with more patients now in hospitals than at any other time during the pandemic.
This state, along with Louisiana, has the highest Covid cases per capita of almost any state – or any country in the world.
On Wednesday, for the 11th day in a row, the state set a record for patients hospitalized with Covid at 15,796 patients.
About one-third of all hospitalized patients in the state right now are suffering from COVID-19, a higher share than any other state.
In s Brevard County county, the hospital system is so overwhelmed that local officials are asking residents to avoid emergency services if possible.
Brevard County is the tenth-most populous in the state and includes Cape Canaveral, Palm Bay, and other nearby cities.
‘There is a capacity issue at our local hospitals dealing with this new surge in COVID-19,’ Brevard County fire chief Mark Schollmeyer told CBS News.
‘Crowding in the ERs has caused us to hold the wall and wait for our patients to offload before we run the next call.’
Schollmeyer recommended that residents try other options – such contacting a primary care physician or a telemedicine hotline – and only call an ambulance if the situation is truly dire.
‘Leave emergency room and ambulance trips for those with life-threatening or serious emergencies,’ he said.
Hospitals in Brevard County are overwhelmed with Covid patients despite using tents to add capacity. Pictured: Palm Bay hospital on July 27
Brevard County has a case positivity rate over 20 percent, meaning that one in five county residents who get tested for Covid is receiving a positive result.
The county has seen 640 new cases for every 100,000 people in the last week, according to HHS data.
HHS classifies the county as a ‘sustained hotspot.’ Just 20 percent of overall hospital beds – and under 10 percent of intensive care beds – are currently available for new patients.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Brevard County has increased 25 percent in the past week.
All three hospital systems in the county have canceled elective surgeries and converted regular hospital space into Covid wards, CBS News reported.
Under half – about 49 percent – of county residents are fully vaccinated.
Over 30 percent of patients in Florida hospitals are sick with Covid, the highest share of any state
Florida’s Covid spike is hitting teenagers and young adults particularly hard
While Brevard County’s situation may be particularly dire, it’s not unique in Florida right now.
The state overall saw about 2,300 new Covid patients yesterday alone – that’s about one-fifth of all new Covid patients in the country.
At the peak of the winter Covid surge, Florida never saw more than 1,300 new Covid patients in a day.
Florida’s intensive care units are particularly strained. According to the HHS, the state has 3,222 Covid patients in ICUs as of August 12.
That is more than half of all ICU patients in the state – 6,205 total.
During this crisis, 42 Florida hospitals are saying they have a critical staffing shortage right now, according to the HHS. These hospitals represent 21 percent of the total Florida facilities reporting this metric.
The recent hospitalization increase is impacting every age group, with a particularly concerning spike in young adults.
In the past week, hospitalizations in Florida’s 18-29 age group have risen five-fold – from 0.8 new admissions for every 100,000 people to over 4 new admissions for every 100,000.
The dire situation in Florida demonstrates the dangers that the Delta variant poses for unvaccinated Americans, who make up the vast majority of those now hospitalized.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has banned mask mandates in schools and other settings.
Still, many local officials in the state continue to encourage residents to protect themselves against Delta through vaccination, masks, and other precautions.
‘It is imperative that we pull together, we get through this and slow this curve to relieve the stress on our hospital system and our healthcare system so we can take care of everyone who gets sick,’ Brevard County emergency director John Scott told CBS News.