FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — Hospital emergency rooms across Florida are being slammed as the state continues to break new daily records for the COVID-19 cases.
On Tuesday, the state reported 24,753 more COVID-19 cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida’s seven-day rolling average of new cases was 21,156 on Tuesday, up from an average of less than 2,000 new cases in early July.READ MORE: French Forces Kill ISIS Leader Believed To Be Responsible For Sgt. La David Johnson’s Death
Since the pandemic began, Florida has recorded at least 2,806,813 confirmed COVID cases and more than 40,100 deaths, the CDC reported.
In Jacksonville on Wednesday, the Baptist Health system reported 584 COVID patients across its five hospitals.
“I think we have COVID fatigue at this point,” said Dr. Timothy Groover, the hospital’s interim chief medical officer. “People have heard that I need to be vaccinated, I need to wear masks that, frankly we saw as an inconvenience. Now people are continuing to roam, they’re engaged in large events and I think there’s a comfort level here that’s ill-advised.”
Across the state, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continued to rise as well Wednesday. Florida reported 15,071 patients being treated for the virus. Those hospitalized are largely unvaccinated and younger than those seen in hospitals during last summer’s surge, doctors have said.READ MORE: COVID Booster Shot Confusion Ahead Of FDA Advisory Committee Meeting
While the emergency departments are slammed with COVID patients and people being treated for non-COVID emergencies, they are also experiencing a spike in the number of people coming in to get tested for the virus.
“Try to avoid an emergency department,” advised Dr. Leonardo Alonso, an emergency room physician who rotates between two hospitals in Jacksonville.
He said last year people were generally afraid to come to hospitals, and there were mass testing centers across the state, where people could get tested for COVID-19.
That’s why he’s encouraging officials across the state to ramp up testing sites in addition to their vaccination pushes. He noted that this week he went to a drug store to buy a COVID home test kit when his wife came down with a cold.MORE NEWS: Rodney Rodriguez, Driver In High-Speed Crash That Killed 3, Finally Booked Into Jail
“We couldn’t get any. They were all out.”