About 9% of COVID-19 positive patients in Florida require hospitalization

OKEECHOBEE — While the COVID-19 positive numbers increase each day, so far Florida hospitals have been able to keep up with the patient load.

In April, the state was so concerned about a possible shortage of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, the governor asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build an alternate care facility in the Miami Beach Convention Center, and the corps began transforming part of the 500,000-square-foot facility into a 450-bed alternate care facility.

As of July 7, there were 1,265 open ICU beds in Florida, according to Florida’s Community Coronavirus Dashboard, an independent website that uses Florida Department of Health data. That number varies from day to day, but has stayed between 1,000 and 1,400 for the past two weeks.

Statewide, about 9% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 have been admitted to a hospital, and 1.9% of total positives have died.

For the counties around Lake Okeechobee, the percentages are similar to the state average. Okeechobee, Glades and Martin counties have a lower percentage of deaths than the state average; Hendry and Palm Beach counties have a higher percentage of deaths related to COVID-19 positive cases.

• In Okeechobee County, 10% of COVID-19 positive cases have been admitted to a hospital and zero have died.

• In Glades County, 10% of COVID-19 positive cases have been admitted to a hospital and 0.5% of total positive cases have died (one death).

• In Hendry County, 9% of COVID-19 positive cases have been admitted to a hospital and 2.5% of total positive cases have died (27 deaths, with 18 of the deaths in long-term care facilities).

• In Palm Beach County, 12% of COVID-19 cases have been admitted to a hospital and 3.2% of total positives have died (557 deaths, with 229 of the deaths in long-term care facilities.)

• In Martin County, 9% of COVID-19 positive cases have been admitted to a hospital and 1.2% of total positives have died (30 deaths with 13 in long-term care facilities.)

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