Hospitals in Tampa Bay prepare for possible surge in COVID-19 cases


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As the number of COVID-19 cases rises so does the likelihood of patients needing care in local hospitals, and those medical centers are gearing up for a possible spike in coronavirus cases.

“The virus is there, it’s lurking, and it’s waiting for opportunities.”

It’s an ominous warning from Dr. Manuel Gordillo, but one that is needed in the Tampa Bay area.

“Me working in a hospital and doing the work that I do. I so still see transmission. Every day I hear of somebody getting the disease somewhere,” said Dr. Gordillo.

Hospitals like Sarasota Memorial Hospital say they’ve been lucky. They’re seeing low numbers of patients with coronavirus.

While numbers are rising across the state Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, the first hospital with a COVID-19 patient, says they “have adequate capacity and beds are not filling up.”

BayCare, which has several hospitals in Tampa Bay, says they are monitoring “the increase of COVID-19 cases across the state and region and are taking steps to be sure (they) are prepared to serve the community’s needs.”

Tampa General Hospital has seen more COVID-19 patients recently, but assures 8 On Your Side their “facility is well equipped to handle these patients with 81 negative pressure rooms and over 100 ventilators.”

While the virus may be spreading in Florida hospitals hope they don’t see the serious cases they saw when all this started months ago.

“Obviously we cannot keep this at that level forever. We need to start opening back up. As we do that, that’s when we need to be the most vigilant and careful,” said Dr. Gordillo.

The governor talked about all the testing that is being done now in the state, but Dr. Gordillo says it’s still not enough.


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