State Watch

56 Florida hospitals report ICUs at capacity as virus surges

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The number of Florida hospital intensive care units (ICUs) hitting capacity increased Tuesday, with at least 56 ICUs saying they have maxed out and another 35 saying their bed availability is at 10 percent or below.

The updated figure comes a day after 43 ICUs across 21 counties in the Sunshine State reached capacity amid the ongoing coronavirus spike. Counties with affected hospitals included Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange and Hillsborough counties.

Florida is one of several Southern and Western states experiencing a surge in cases in recent weeks, with California reporting hospitalizations at an all-time high across the state and positive tests increasing by more than 2 percent in Los Angeles, CNN reported.

Texas, meanwhile, saw its highest single-day number of new cases, with more than 10,000 new cases reported on Tuesday, while Georgia became the ninth state to pass 100,000 reported cases overall.

The recent surge of cases has been accompanied, thus far, with a lower mortality rate, with experts saying possible contributing factors include younger patients and hospitals gaining a better understanding of how to treat the virus.

Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the U.S., warned Tuesday against “false complacency” in the face of the virus.

“It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Fauci said Tuesday during a livestreamed press conference hosted by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.). “There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don’t get yourself into a false complacency.”

“The death rate is lower, I admit that. Because people in general, who are young or healthier. But that doesn’t mean that you could not get seriously ill,” Fauci said, attributing many of the spikes to what he said were premature reopenings and liftings of stay-at-home orders.

“We have a situation right now that we’ve got to proceed to continue to try and open but in a safe, measured, very prudent manner,” Fauci said.

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus doug jones Florida hospital capacity spikes

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