Florida is facing the worst of the situation. And our hearts go out to them.
Dr. David Wein, an emergency medicine physician at Tampa General Hospital in Florida, said the Covid-19 outbreak there is the most severe he and his colleagues have witnessed since the pandemic began.
In Hillsborough County, where Tampa General Hospital is located, the number of new Covid cases has reached an average of about 1,200 per day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Covid patients are now occupying nearly 200 of Tampa General Hospital’s 1,041-beds as of Tuesday, according to data provided by the hospital. The surge in patients, most of them unvaccinated, is causing a strain on the hospital’s 8,000-plus member staff, Wein said.
“Everyone is working at full capacity and then some, and it feels like we’ve been that way for a long time,” Wein said Tuesday in a phone interview. He added the hospital was beginning to run low on nurses. “It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now,” he said.
Florida’s latest Covid data, which is released just once a week on Fridays, shows its seven-day average of new cases hit a new record last week of 19,250 per day, up from around 1,500 in June and accounting for almost 18% of new cases in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. On a per-capita basis, Florida has the second-highest cases in the nation at 90 new infections per day per 100,000 people — behind Louisiana at 116 cases per 100,000 residents.
“With a highly contagious delta variant raging through the state, the people have been largely abandoned by their state government,” Gostin said. “America is so close to getting back to normal. This could be a major setback to our national Covid response.”