South Florida Hospitals Struggle to Meet Demand as COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise

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Hospitals in South Florida still making room for hundreds of COVID-19 positive patients per day.

“We’re waiting for that plateau so that we can get on the other side of this,” said Dr Joshua Lenchus, interim Chief Medical Officer at Broward Health. “Unfortunately, the 99.5% of those patients that have COVID that died today are still the unvaccinated.”

Dr. Lenchus said the rate of the rise in cases has slowed, but he is fearing what could happen next, come fall.

“I think the kids are the biggest variable at this point because we do know kids going back to school are likely to have an increase and uptick in infections, the question is how severe are those infections,” said Lenchus.

Memorial West hit an all-time high with 692 hospitalized patients. Jackson Health treating 414 and Broward Health at 381 patients.

“There were patients lined up in the hallway, on the walls, patients everywhere,” said Kevin Warshal, a non-COVID patient.

Warshal was one of many patients at Memorial Hospital West who needed care for something other than COVID-19. He was treated in a room that is treating the overflow of patients.

Doctors at Jackson Memorial said their COVID-19 patients who are in dire need of treatment must wait to be transferred because of the demand.

“There are a number of patients who need to be in intensive care who are waiting in the emergency room to be admitted to intensive care at this time,” said Dr. Martin Valdivia, ICU Medical Director at Jackson North Medical Center.

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