On average, more than 550,000 Americans test positive for COVID every day. About 10% of them are in Florida, where the average number of new cases is higher than it has been sincehas begun.
Hospitalizations in Florida remain well below their peaks during the Delta Variant outbreak. But hospitalizations are rising rapidly: 340% more in the past two weeks, according to the Florida Hospital Association.
Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous county, is seeing a record number of cases where hospitals are struggling to meet demand.
The maternity ward at Holy Cross Hospital was forced to close due to understaffing. With a 550% increase in new hospital admissions in Miami-Dade in just two weeks, the need for healthcare workers will only increase.
âIt’s a concern we all share,â said Dr. Nicolas Brozzi, who works for the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida.
During the delta’s surge this summer, Brozzi treated Jada Turnbull, 26, who spent 42 days in hospital with COVID. For two weeks in the hospital, she was in an induced coma.
âI had a 10 to 15% chance of living,â said Turnbull.
Turnbull was put on ECMO, a specialized machine that oxygenates the blood outside the body, allowing her lungs to rest and recover.
Brozzi said rising patient numbers and growing staff shortages are making it harder for hospitals to save patients like Turnbull.
âAs hospitals are overloaded, there are fewer opportunities to provide all of these resources to one patient,â Brozzi said.
Turnbull told us she was finishing her nursing education to honor frontline workers who saved her life. She was also vaccinated as soon as she recovered from the virus.
The increase in cases is also disrupting some essential services like the Miami-Dade education system. Over 1,500 teachers were sick. School superintendent Alberto Carvalho had to replace the teacher at Miami-Jackson high school.
âWe have deployed individuals with educational certifications, we are talking about support staff, coaches,â Carvalho said.
The Miami-Dade Police Department is also affected with more than 10% of police officers with COVID.