Florida breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

A day after recording the highest number of new cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Florida broke a record for hospitalizations on Sunday, as the number of patients admitted for COVID-19 again surpassed the 10,000 mark.

The state had 10,207 people hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data reported by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The previous record was set more than a year ago on July 23, 2020 — more than six months before COVID-19 vaccines became widely available — when Florida recorded 10,170 hospitalizations, according to the Association of Florida hospitals.

The state leads the nation in COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita, with state hospitals reporting having to put emergency room visitors in hallway beds and others documenting a notable decline in the age of the patients.

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

The increase in hospitalizations and infections comes as the delta variant has spread throughout Florida, and after residents have resumed their pre-pandemic activities.

“The recent increase is both shocking and unsurprising,” Salemi said in an email Saturday night.

Federal data released Saturday showed Florida reporting 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest daily number since the start of the pandemic.

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