Florida breaks its pandemic record for COVID hospitalizations

ORLANDO, Florida — A day after it recorded the most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic, Florida breaks a previous record for current hospitalizations, as the number of patients in hospitals because of COVID-19 once again breaks through the 10,000-person threshold.

The Sunshine State has 10,207 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data reported to the US Department of Health & Human Services.

The previous record was from more than a year ago, July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread, when Florida had 10,170 hospitalizations, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Florida is now leading the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19, as hospitals around the state report having to put emergency room visitors in beds in hallways and others document a noticeable drop in the age of patients.

In the past week, Florida has averaged 1,525 adult hospitalizations a day, and 35 daily pediatric hospitalizations. Both are the highest per capita rate in the nation, according to Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida.

The hospitalizations and increasing cases have come as the new, more transmittable delta variant has spread throughout Florida, and residents have returned to pre-pandemic activities.

“The recent rise is both striking and not-at-all surprising,” Salemi says in an email.

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