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Florida Breaks COVID-19 Case And Hospitalization Records

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - COVID-19 cases across Florida are spiking like we've never seen before. Over the last few days, Florida has broken two records for the total number of new COVID-19 cases reported in one day and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, as of Monday 10,682 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Florida, the highest number we've seen through out the whole pandemic...and nurses say it could get worse before it gets better.

Amelia Russell, Largo Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer says "It's sad, I think it's frustrating. We've learned so much about this disease and how to prevent this disease. I don't think we need to be in this situation."

It's a situation many medical professionals didn't think Florida would be in more than a year after the beginning of the pandemic.

Mary Mayhew, president of the Florida Hospital Association says "A rapid increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Very different from what we saw last June and July in which it took 60 days to go from 2,000 to 10,000 hospitalizations. It has taken 20 days to go from 2,000 to 10,000."

The latest numbers represent a grim reality that we aren't at the end of the pandemic yet. The CDC reports on July 30, Florida hit a record high of 21,683 new cases in a day, and as of Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reporting 10, 682 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state.

"It's definitely more of a threat to younger individuals than what they experienced before," said Mayhew.

Mayhew says over the next several weeks, those hospitalizations will most likely be higher than the 10,000 we are seeing now.

"We are not going to only surpass it but likely significantly surpass it," said Mayhew.

And with that prediction, hospitals in Florida are already having to make adjustments.

"There are hospitals that are having to use that is considered non-patient care areas, cafeterias, conference rooms and they are getting permission from the state to use that space," said Mayhew.

Russell says right now her hospital hasn't yet started making those changes, but she's seeing the impact of the Delta variant.

"We're seeing a high percentage of ICU patients which typically means that they require a ventilator," said Russell.

Both Russell and Mayhew are encouraging people to get vaccinated to protect patients but also to prevent any other dangerous COVID-19 variants from forming.

"A majority of our patients are unvaccinated," said Russell.

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