Florida hospitals looking to increase staffing as some hit capacity

Hospital officials say they have more beds they can bring in if demand from COVID-19 continues to climb, but staffing could be an issue.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked the Florida Division of Emergency Management to deploy 1,500 nurses to hospitals that are feeling the pressure from staffers.


State and local leaders say they will continue to work together to make sure COVID-19 patients across the state get the care they need.

On Wednesday, 498 people were hospitalized in Orange County for COVID-19, which is 56 more people admitted in a day. At last count, 75 of those Orange County patients were in the ICU.

Read: 120 COVID-19 deaths reported statewide in past 24 hours as Florida’s death toll surpasses 4,000

About 41 hospitals across the state say they have reached capacity due to COVID-19.

Statewide hospital data shows ICU capacity at 90% to 95% capacity, which doctors said is normal since many health systems operate in this range of capacity on a regular basis.

Read: Central Florida counties see uptick in COVID-19 deaths as state death toll hits 4,000

And, doctors said, hospitals don’t leave empty beds on the floor, but instead put them away and roll them back out when needed.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.