Miami-Area Covid-19 Patients on Ventilators Hit New High

Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous, reported the highest numbers of Covid-19 hospitalizations, intensive-care patients and ventilator use since at least early May.

The county said Tuesday that it has 1,202 people with Covid-19 in hospitals, an increase of 53 from a day earlier. The number of virus patients in intensive-care unit beds rose to 245 from 236, according to a report. There are 103 Covid-19 patients on ventilators, up from 90 a day earlier.

The number of available ICU beds dropped to 459 from 473 a day earlier, but remains broadly in line with the trend over the past two weeks. The county also has 526 beds that can be converted into ICU beds.

Speaking Tuesday from Juno Beach, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis again ruled out new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. He said businesses weren’t fueling the spread, but rather younger Floridians in social settings.

“We’re not going back, closing things,” DeSantis said. “I don’t think that that really is what’s driving it.”

Miami-Dade has cautioned that some of Friday’s data was partially skewed by the addition of facilities that hadn’t previously been reporting. On that day, the county added 113 patients reported by the new facilities. But even after adjusting accordingly, the county would still be at the highest Covid-19 hospitalization since early May, when Bloomberg began tracking the data.

In his remarks Tuesday, DeSantis said his top priority was protecting the vulnerable, and he again alluded to the relatively low median age of new infections -- now 37. But older Floridians are also testing positive for the virus in rising numbers, and a separate report Tuesday showed current Covid-19 cases among Florida long-term care residents jumped to 1,868, the most since the pandemic began.

“If we first protect the vulnerable, you know we’re going to be able to get through this patch adequately,” DeSantis said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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