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Mayo Clinic exceeds capacity, activates surge plan due to increase in COVID-19 patients

A 'Surge Capacity Plan’ has been activated and the hospital has requested approval to operate overcapacity until the current surge ends.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville has exceeded capacity due to a "significant increase" in COVID-19 patients, the hospital announced Sunday.

According to an email sent to city leaders, Mayo Clinic has notified the Agency for Health Care Administration that a ‘Surge Capacity Plan’ has been activated and that they have requested AHCA’s approval to operate overcapacity until the current surge ends.

The hospital has 304 licensed beds. Through the Surge Capacity Plan, hospital patients will be able to occupy unlicensed beds. 

Additionally, the plan will allow the hospital to staff the surge areas in order to meet the needs of its patients.  

In response to Mayo Clinic reaching maximum capacity, city councilman Garrett Dennis said, "As we receive daily reports regarding the local impact of the COVID surge, I cannot overstate the importance of getting vaccinated, socially distancing, and wearing masks. When hospitals are operating over licensed capacity, public health is at risk and every one of us needs to do our part to keep the community safe."

The news from Mayo Clinic comes the same day as Florida broke a previous record for current hospitalizations.

The state reported an all-time high of 10,207 people hospitalized with COVID-19 Sunday, beating the previous record set last summer.  

On Saturday, Florida reported its highest-ever daily total for new COVID-19 cases, according to CDC data. 

The data, which the Florida health department says it sends to the CDC, says the state recorded 21,683 new cases on July 30, the most since the start of the pandemic. Previously, the highest single-day number the state reported was 19,816 on Jan. 6. 

According to the Florida health department's weekly COVID-19 report, the state reported 110,477 new COVID-19 cases between July 23 and July 29. The report says the state's current percent positivity rate is 18.1 percent. A total of 2,590,699 people have tested positive for the virus in Florida since the pandemic began, the report stated.

You can read Mayo Clinic’s full email sent from Layne Smith, the Director of State Government Relations, Division of External Relations below.

Good afternoon from Mayo Clinic.

This morning Mayo Clinic hospital exceeded our capacity of 304 licensed beds due to the significant increase in COVID-19 inpatients. We have notified the Agency for Health Care Administration that our Surge Capacity Plan has been activated by our Hospital Incident Commander and have requested AHCA’s approval to operate at overcapacity until the current COVID-19 surge ends. Hospital inpatients will be occupying unlicensed beds detailed in our approved Surge Capacity Plan and we are currently able to staff the surge areas to meet the essential needs of our patients. Life safety will not be jeopardized for any patients.

Thank you for your continued leadership as we work together on this latest surge. Please do not hesitate to call if I can provide any additional information.

Layne

A spokesperson from Mayo Clinic also sent First Coast News the following statement when asked about the hospital reaching maximum capacity.

“Like all of our neighboring Northeast Florida hospitals, Mayo Clinic in Florida has seen a dramatic increase in COVID-19 positive patients in recent weeks.  For this reason, we have activated our Hospital Surge plan and are making adjustments to inpatient areas to accommodate caring for an increased number of patients, while leveraging innovative solutions like our Advanced Care at Home, our hospital at home program.

Mayo Clinic remains honored to care for our community.  Mayo Clinic patients who have scheduled appointments should continue to seek care for their appointments/visits, procedures, and surgeries.  At this time, we have not canceled patient care unless it was patient-directed.  In specific cases, Mayo Clinic may make modifications to schedules given the circumstances in the community, but these are on a case-by-case basis. We stand together with our Northeast Florida hospitals to serve our community and place the needs of our patients first.”