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At 12,041 patients, Florida's COVID hospitalizations reach new high

The state this weekend surpassed last summer's peak.

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida continues to set new daily records in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are 12,041 people hospitalized in Florida who have a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. It includes 11,906 adult patients and 135 pediatric patients, HHS data shows.

The figure remains higher than Florida's peak last summer on July 23, 2020.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion Wednesday with several hospital CEOs, including Tampa General's John Couris and Orlando Health's David Strong, in light of the increasing numbers. Recent data and stories of those on the front lines indicate more younger people have been admitted to the hospital this year over last, and that trend is happening in Tampa.

Most hospital officials reported to DeSantis that the trend in hospitalizations has been unvaccinated people in their 50s.

"When you look at our experience right now, it's definitely skewing younger, for sure," Couris said.

In response to a question from DeSantis about mortality rates, Couris said "no question about it" that there have been fewer deaths with fewer elderly patients at Florida hospitals.

If a patient tests positive for COVID, a monoclonal antibody treatment could be necessary — but it should happen sooner rather than later after diagnosis. People who are experiencing other medical issues shouldn't ignore them, either, despite what's happening at the hospitals.

"Do not delay care," said Couris, referring to other emergency illnesses.

RELATED: Tested positive for COVID? An antibody treatment could keep you out of the hospital

"The numbers are accelerating much more rapidly and are likely to continue well beyond what we saw in the summer surge," said University of South Florida's Dr. Jason Salemi in an earlier interview. He specializes in public health surveillance and manages his own COVID dashboard with data reported to the HHS.

RELATED: Yes, current COVID hospitalizations in Florida are 'worse than the worst last year'

BayCare Health System reported COVID-19 patients have quadrupled in its hospitals over the last four weeks, and as of Tuesday, it is at a record high, surpassing its July 2020 peak.

"There are so many decisions that hospitals are making to maximize their ability to respond to the demand,” said Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association in an earlier interview. "We have hospitals around the state that have greatly exceeded their previous highest peak or are at or above their recent highest peak."

AdventHealth West reported 300 COVID hospitalizations in 6 hospitals across Tampa Bay on Tuesday. It’s a number above what the hospital system reported in the past.

HCA West Florida also says hospitalizations are up for COVID patients, and most are young and unvaccinated.

RELATED: Tampa Bay area hospitals overwhelmed as COVID cases surge

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