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Tampa Bay-area hospitals make adjustments as COVID-19 cases rise, patients get admitted into ICUs

ICU units in Tampa Bay have anywhere from 5-43 beds left. Pasco County still has the least available.

TAMPA, Fla. — Take a look across the Tampa Bay area and more coronavirus cases continue to pop up every day.

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration shows only 14 percent of the 10 area county's ICU beds are open. Hospitals are now getting ready.

“We're seeing the slow gradual increase in our COVID patients. We're able to accommodate them,” Dr. Dough Ross said.

Ross is the Chief Medical Officer at AdventHealth. He said the agency's hospitals aren't overwhelmed but are slowly making adjustments to make room for more coronavirus patients.

“We are moving patients that normally use negative pressure rooms out of those rooms so that we can put our COVID patients into them,” Ross said.

Ross said 80 percent of the coronavirus patients they treat can fight the virus alone.

“Only about 20 percent of the population with COVID-19 needs to be admitted. So even though we are seeing an uptick, the percentage still stays about the same about 20 percent of the patients need to be admitted,” Ross said.

RELATED: Pasco County keeping close eye on hospital capacity and ICU bed availability

RELATED: 'There is a plan': Pasco County officials prepared to make changes as hospital capacity declines

Hospitals across the bay area are experiencing that same trend.

“We're seeing are people who are normally in the hospital because they need medical care. We're seeing patients who have COVID come into the hospital as well. Then we're seeing some of the individuals that put off care a couple months ago coming into the hospital,” Dr. Nishant Anand said.

Anand is BayCare Health’s Chief Medical Officer. He said that’s why ICU beds can run thin. ICU units in Tampa Bay have anywhere from 5-43 beds left. Pasco County still has the least available, but other counties are reaching similar levels.

“We were used to dealing with search capacity or dealing with volumes that are higher than normal. If a COVID unit starts to get filled, we've identified other units we can move to and start to serve patients,” Anand said.

10 Tampa Bay examined 10 counties for ICU bed availability, which include Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.

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