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11,515 patients: Florida again breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

More than 90 percent of beds in Tampa General Hospital's COVID unit are filled.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Florida has risen to an all-time high of 11,515 patients. 

The data was released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is used to track admissions and staffing shortages. The figures also show 2,400 of those patients are in ICU beds. 

The previous day, the data showed there were 10,389 COVID-hospitalizations in the state. The new number breaks a previous record for current hospitalizations set more than a year ago before vaccines were available. 

Last year, Florida hit its previous peak on July 23, with 10,170 hospitalizations.

The state now leads the nation in per capita hospitalizations as more COVID patients are younger and the vast majority are unvaccinated. At the area’s largest hospital, Tampa General, more than 90 percent of beds in the COVID unit are filled.

In the past four weeks, COVID-19 patients in BayCare hospitals have quadrupled, said a spokesperson, equaling their busiest peak, which occurred last summer.

Mary Mayhew, CEO of the Florida Hospital Association, told 10 Tampa Bay that COVID-19 hospital admissions in the state over the past month have been increasing at a faster rate than at any time in 2020.

Of those hospitalized for COVID-19, Mayhew says 96 percent are unvaccinated.

People 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people 18 up. All have been found to be effective against COVID-19, with a recent study finding two doses of the Pfizer vaccine offering 88-percent protection against infection caused by the delta variant.

Among people who have received a vaccine, the latest research shows infections are rare and for those who do experience symptoms, they tend to be mild.

Visit the Florida Department of Health's website to find a vaccine location near you.

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