How Central Florida hospitals are preparing to care for COVID-19 patients

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, many may be wondering if there are enough hospital beds in Florida to treat anyone who may become infected with the virus.

ORLANDO, Fla. — With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, many may be wondering if there are enough hospital beds in Florida to treat anyone who may become infected with the virus.

There are 60,000 hospital beds in Florida.

Just three days ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis said there were only 18,000 beds available statewide, which means a majority of those beds are in use.

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Central Florida hospitals have 10,000 available beds, a majority of the beds are in Orange County and other counties have as few as 800 to 1,500.

New York, which now has the most cases of COVID-19 at 20,000, is now requiring hospitals to increase bed capacity.

Thomas Tsai, a professor at Harvard University, said that if just 20% of the Central Florida population were infected with the virus over the next 18 months that’s about 800,000 people.

Predictions show more than 100,000 could need hospital care.

“Predictions depend on what we do right now. So if we take action now, really stay at home, practice really good hand hygiene, that buys time for hospitals to ramp up their bed capacities,” Tsai said.

Over the weekend, AdventHealth set up tents outside of its hospitals to prepare for a potential increase of coronavirus patients.

Local counties are now forcing people to stay home, a sign that officials are taking warnings from hospital leaders seriously.