Coronavirus in Florida: Recent surge in COVID-19 cases has South Florida hospitals struggling to keep up

MIAMI – The rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations across South Florida continues as the state navigates through the latest surge in cases.

The Jackson Health System has seen a 226 percent increase in coronavirus hospitalizations from June 14 to July 14th.

If you ask Carlos Migoya, who runs Jackson Health, he thinks there is a behavioral issue in the community.

"I think the issue is we have a lot of aggressive non-compliant people," Migoya said. "People that do not believe masking is the right thing to do."

Migoya and his staff are paying the price for non compliance.

“One of the issues we have today is the lack of credibility,” he said. “People don’t believe the message we are telling them, and I don’t understand it, but that is exactly what is happening.”

Magoya said the region of South Florida has unique issues.

The challenge that we have in Miami is we are a very diverse community, and we have a lot of multi-generational families," he said.

Another problem is that younger people are out and about, and bringing the virus home.

We are seeing some of them, they are seeing their family members infected because of them. And then they say, ‘Oh my God, it is my fault,’” Migoya said. “It is a little late at that point and time. That’s where we need to be more proactive in our community.

Jackson Health System has 153 employees currently with COVID-19, including 37 nurses.

That’s one percent of the work force.

1323 patients have been discharged from Jackson Hospitals since the outbreak.

Looking further north in Broward County the auditorium at Memorial West in Pembroke Pines has been converted to hold patients who don't have the virus. It frees up hospital rooms for those who do

"Right now, our ICU capacity is 180 percent," said Leah Carpenter, CEO of Memorial West. "We are worried about the future."

Memorial West pans to use its auxiliary auditorium for non-COVID patients in the next day or so.

The Miami Beach Convention Center is on stand-by as an auxiliary hospital if needed, but the county wants to keep patients off a barrier island during hurricane season.

About the Author: