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Dozens Of Florida Hospitals Report Critical Staffing Shortages Amid COVID Spike

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Marta Lavandier
/
Associated Press
People wait to get a COVID-19 test, Aug. 11, in Miami. COVID-19 has strained some Florida hospitals so much that ambulance services and fire departments can no longer respond as usual to every call.

Forty-nine Florida hospitals reported critical staffing shortages on Monday and 51 hospitals were anticipating shortages within the week as the state continues to lead the nation in the percentage of inpatients with COVID-19, according to data posted by the U.S. Department of Health Human Services.

Florida had 17,143 COVID-19 hospital admissions reported by 257 hospitals. It led the nation in the percentage of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, at more than 35 percent.

The swell in the number of hospitalizations is due to the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. The hospitalizations are occurring mostly in unvaccinated people.

Hospitals report the data to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Florida Department of Health on Friday published a weekly COVID-19 report that showed Florida had totaled 3,027,954 cases since the pandemic started in early 2020, an increase of 150,740 cases from the previous week’s report. The death toll in Florida had climbed to 42,252 deaths as of Thursday, an increase of 1,486 from the previous week.