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5 Pinellas County hospitals reach max ICU capacity


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – As of Tuesday, five Pinellas County hospitals have reached maximum capacity in their ICU’s, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

The Florida Department of Health Director for Pinellas County said the county broke a record for the number of coronavirus patients in hospital ICU beds. Now, Pinellas County leaders are trying to figure out how to make sure there are enough hospital beds in case numbers continue to rise.

According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the five hospitals in Pinellas County that reached full ICU capacity Tuesday are:

  • Advent Health North Pinellas
  • Mease Countryside Hospital
  • Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg
  • Palms of Pasadena Hospital
  • St. Petersburg General Hospital

The Florida Department of Health Director for Pinellas County, Dr. Ulyee Choe, said many hospitals in the county are feeling stretched thin.

“We’re seeing increased volumes in the Emergency Room’s, Hospitals, and ICUs. As of [Tuesday] morning, the ICUs did report that there were 111 COVID patients in the ICU beds. That’s the most number of ICU beds taken [by coronavirus patients in our county] to date,” said Dr. Choe.

He said a lot of hospitals reported at the beginning of the pandemic that they had the capacity to enhance the number of ICU beds to almost 150% of their standard capacity but said they are limited by the amount of staff working to man those beds.

“We’re addressing it by various means. Hospitals themselves have looked at other options, there is an opportunity to expand the beds. We’ll continue to work with hospitals to get that data and get it to you with specifics,” Choe said.

Dr. Choe said different hospitals in the county are on different phases of their surge planning. He said they have stopped a lot of elective surgeries to help increase staffing.

“The COVID numbers within ICU beds have increased dramatically over the last few weeks and that is something we need to keep an eye on,” said Dr. Choe.


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