HHS reports some Jacksonville hospitals out of ICU beds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville’s local hospitals are bursting at the seams as COVID-19 cases surge. A UF Health spokesperson says its campuses were treating 186 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday.

“That means you have patients lying in stretchers that should be admitted into a hospital bed, but there is nowhere to put them,” UF Health Assistant Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chirag Patel said.

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Patel says UF Health’s North campus is already above capacity at 130 percent, and the downtown location is 95 percent full.

Data as of Monday from Health and Human Services show how overwhelmed hospitals are. The data show Ascention St. Vincent’s on the Southside is actually in the negative for ICU beds available to patients. And Orange Park Medical Center reportedly has a zero percent availability for ICU beds.

Patel says UF Health is making room for more patients.

“We are every single day finding places to put patients. We are creating space by emptying out storage units, by taking rooms that were private and adding a second bed,” he said.

He says no matter what, patients will be coming to hospitals whether they have COVID or not. The best thing you can do is save trips to the ER for real emergencies.