Florida coronavirus: ICU bed availability dwindling in Tampa Bay counties

By The Numbers

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Fewer than 130 adult ICU beds are available throughout the 10 local counties that make up the Tampa Bay area, updated data finds.

Combined, the 10 local counties – Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota – have a total of 1,138 ICU beds in hospitals. New hospital census data shows only 128 of those ICU beds are available.

That means only about 10 percent of adult ICU beds in local hospitals are available for use as of Wednesday evening.

Five hospitals in Pinellas County reached maximum ICU capacity on Tuesday.

“We’re seeing increased volumes in the emergency rooms, hospitals and ICUs. As of [Tuesday] morning, the ICUs did report that there were 111 COVID patients in the ICU beds,” Florida Department of Health Director for Pinellas County Dr. Ulyee Choe said. “That’s the most number of ICU beds taken [by coronavirus patients in our county] to date.”

The availability of ICU beds is something 8 On Your Side has been tracking closely as cases have increased throughout the state the past few weeks.

“I would say hospitals and all of their administrators are very concerned, they communicate with each other, and everybody is seeing the same increase in filling up their hospitals with coronavirus patients,” Dr. John Greene, the chief of infectious diseases at Moffitt, told 8 On Your Side last month.

Earlier this week, Lakeland Regional – Polk County’s largest hospital – said it was accessing additional intensive care unit beds it has available to treat patients as coronavirus cases rise.

“Right now, we’re in a good spot. We feel comfortable with our bed capacity at the moment,” Senior Vice President Caroline Gay said.

She added, “we are certainly having to be in an all hands on deck kind of situation.”

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