Coronavirus hospitalizations surging in Miami-Dade, with younger patients too

County still has about 25% of its ICU beds available

Miami-Dade County has seen a steady increase in admitted patients with the coronavirus over recent days. Hospitals are seeing sick patients in their 20s and 30s, too.

MIAMI – As confirmed COVID-19 cases go up, the capacity to treat those patients goes down.

On Sunday, Miami-Dade county reported 714 coronavirus patients admitted to area hospitals.

Monday, that number rose by 62 to 776.

On Tuesday, the number of admitted COVID-19 patients reported in the county reached 818.

“We were really on the decline, which was awesome,” said Dr. Carol Biggs, chief nursing officer with Jackson Health. “And about two weeks ago, we were like, ‘OK, what’s going on?’ And then last week, we’re like, ‘Woah.’”

Admitted COVID-19 patients have trended upward in Miami-Dade County over recent days. (Miami-Dade County graphic)

Biggs and her colleagues are seeing younger patients, unlike the 65-and-over group that was primarily admitted during the onset of the pandemic.

“20s, 30s, 40s, 50s ... definitely, and they’re a little bit sicker,” Biggs said. “The first wave, a lot of these younger folks, even though they came in and would test positive, they didn’t have to be admitted. They were able to go home and recoup. [Now] we’re seeing that we have to admit a lot more of them.”

Despite the surge, South Florida hospitals have not yet reached capacity.

According to state data, Miami-Dade has 23.9% of its hospital beds and 26.6% of its ICU beds available as of Tuesday afternoon.

Ventilator equipment is also available.

A spokesperson says the “alternate care facility” set up at the Miami Beach Convention Center has had no patients but remains at the ready. The field hospital set up at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport has been removed.

About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.