Florida has enough ICU beds available, says governor

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference today (July 21) to assure the public the state’s hospitals are in good shape.

“You’ve heard no ICU beds here or there,” DeSantis explained, adding this information must be taken in context. Statewide 24% of the hospital beds in the State of Florida are empty, said the governor. In addition, more than 1,000 ICU beds are empty.

“We have a lot of hospitals in rural communities that have zero ICU capacity,” said DeSantis. If a patient needs that level of care, they are sent to a larger hospital that has ICU capacity.

He said most hospitals try to run ICUs at 88 to 90% full because it is expensive to staff ICUs.

DeSantis said not every COVID-19 patient needs to be in the ICU.

“We’re going to get through this,” he said. He noted the hospital census has stabilized in most parts of the state.

He encouraged Floridians “to keep doing the basic things that really make a difference.”

DeSantis also promoted blood donations to OneBlood. The blood bank tests all donated blood for COVID-19 antibodies. Plasma containing these antibodies can be used to help COVID-19 patients.

“Go give blood and really help somebody,” he said.

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