Dozens of Florida hospitals max out of ICU capacity amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Dozens of hospitals in Florida are at their ICU capacity as the state struggles to contain its massive spike of COVID-19 cases.

According to new data released by the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, almost 85 percent of the state's ICU beds are occupied, with just 933 ICU available beds remaining across the state.

WFLA reported that 435 were hospitalized overnight Friday, a new record. At least 52 hospitals in the state have no ICU capacity left at all.

During a Friday press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida scientist who accused state of manipulating coronavirus data tests positive for COVID-19, turns herself in Overnight Health Care: Testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing | Health workers refusing vaccine is growing problem | Incoming CDC director expects 500,000 COVID deaths by mid-February COVID-19 testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing MORE (R) tried to assuage fears over the mounting hospitalizations.

“We’ve got the census today. I think between 10 and 12 or 13 thousand — somewhere like that — beds are available,” DeSantis said. “There’ll be articles saying, ‘Oh, my gosh. They’re at 90 percent.’ Well, that’s how hospitals normally run.”

The governor noted that he was sending 100 contract nurses to Tampa Bay to assist area hospitals.

Florida on Friday nearly broke its record for daily cases that it set on July 4, reporting 11,433 new cases. Despite the surge in cases, DeSantis has previously stated that he won't shut down the state again.

"We're open. We know who we need to protect. Most of the folks in those younger demographics, although we want them to be mindful of what's going on, are just simply much much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups," he said late last month.

As a country, the U.S. reported more than 68,000 new cases Friday, marking the third consecutive day it has set a new record.