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Coronavirus, daily care putting a burden on Florida hospital beds

An influx in those needing care has nearly 75 percent of the state's hospital beds full according to the Florida Agency for Health Care.
Credit: sudok1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hospitals across Florida have been hit hard as the coronavirus pandemic made its way across the state, causing a higher than normal influx of those needing care. 

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has been tracking hospital bed and ICU bed space across Florida's 67 counties to see the impact of both the 12,577 people who have been hospitalized with the virus, plus everyday medical needs. 

Florida saw another jump in confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday. According to data from the Florida Department of Health, there were 3,207 new cases reported on June 18 making it the largest single-day spike the state has seen since it began tracking them. 

RELATED: Florida reports another jump in confirmed cases of coronavirus

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

Currently, there are 85,926 cases of COVID-19, and 3,061 deaths reported by the DOH as southeast Florida counties remain those hardest hit.

Overall the state has 1,371 available ICU beds accessible, coming to an average of 22.61 percent, according to the AHCA. While counties like Escambia and Columbia are seeing a lower percent available.

While hospital beds in general across the state see a slightly higher percentage of availability at 24.44 percent or 14,747 beds, according to the AHCA.

But, bed space in the Tampa Bay area paints a moderately different picture. 

Nine of our 10 counties have under 50 ICU beds still available, with Hillsborough being the exception with 88 ICU beds. Putting the Tampa Bay area at an average of 20.43 percent when it comes to ICU bed space. 

Hernando County reporting the lowest amount of availability at 13.58 percent and Highlands County rounding out the top with 42.42 percent, according to AHCA data.

Citrus, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas also report percentages in the teens for availability. 

You can see the full breakdown below:

Credit: Florida AHCA data

When you take the data a step back and look at hospital beds in our area, the AHCA says a total of 3,235 beds are free compared to the 11,033 currently full.

Each county falling between 15.8 to 34.36 percent still available. 

The factors impacting those percentages are reliant on more than just the amount of people seeking care, but also the amount available to begin with, as each county's population varies greatly.

For example, Hardee County has 21 beds with only four available, while Hillsborough County has 3,321 beds and 855 available.

The difference? Hardee County has roughly two percent of the population Hillsborough does.

Credit: Florida AHCA data

Once broken down hospital by hospital only two Bay Area locations are completely full, according to the AHCA. Springbrook hospital in Hernando County and AventHealth Connerton in Pasco County.

But, eight others come close. Falling under 10 beds available a piece.

They are the following: 

AdventHealth Carrollwood (Hillsborough): 1 bed

St. Josephs Hospital Behavioral Health Center: 2 beds

AdventHealth Wauchula (Citrus): 4 beds

Tampa Community Hospital- A campus of Memorial Hospital of Tampa, ER: 5 beds

Centerstone of Florida (Manatee): 8 beds

Morton Plant North Bay Hospital Recovery Center (Pasco): 7 beds 

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Largo (Pinellas): 7 beds

Winter Haven Women's Hospital (Polk): 9 beds

It's important to stress, while this data shows the current state of Florida's hospitals, the amount of beds--or lack thereof in some cases-- is not solely created by COVID-19 cases. The AHCA factors bed space taken by those with other healthcare needs, illnesses, procedures, etc. into its data.

But, as trends have shown over the past few days since Gov. DeSantis has moved through the phases of reopening the state we have seen a nearly daily uptick in reported cases.

Causing one study to suggest Florida could be the next epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Study: Florida could be the next epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic

Health experts at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's PolicyLab produced new models that the authors say show the state "has all the makings of the next large epicenter...the risk there is the worst it has ever been in our projections."

Including Tampa as one of the areas that have "a fairly widespread transmission event."

Here's a breakdown of new coronavirus cases reported in Florida:                                              

  • Thursday: 1,698
  • Friday: 1,902
  • Saturday: 2,581
  • Sunday: 2,106
  • Monday: 1,758
  • Tuesday: 2,783
  • Wednesday: 2,610
  • Thursday: 3,061

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