PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As the coronavirus continues to grip parts of South Florida, there are growing concerns over hospitalizations and the numbers of intensive care unit beds available.
Last week the Sunshine State hit another grim milestone with more than 1,800 hospitalizations — the highest in a single day since the start of the pandemic, according to state records.
Many hospitals are taking action against the record-setting numbers.
Some hospitals in the state, including Bethesda East, Bethesda West and Boca Raton Regional Center in South Florida, are now rescheduling elective procedures that require overnight stays to help free up space.
In Florida, 56 hospital ICUs have hit capacity and another 35 hospitals show ICU bed availability of 10% or less.
As of Wednesday morning, many Palm Beach County hospital ICUs were reportedly near capacity.
Florida Gov. Ron Desantis said hospitals are seeing more patients who are coming in for other reasons and then learning they have COVID-19. He added that is part of the reason the positive numbers are rising.
"People didn't all of the sudden stop having heart attacks," DeSantis said. "People were not as comfortable seeking medical care then, so we've been stressing, and every hospital we've talked to is stressing, hey, we're open for business."
This story was originally published by Kamrel Eppinger on WPTV in Palm Beach, Florida.