Coronavirus Crisis Putting Strain On Miami-Dade Hospitals

Florida News

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There are more than 2,300 people battling the coronavirus at Miami-Dade hospitals – the highest amount locally.

“People are near exhaustion and we are running out of beds, nurses, and caregivers,” said Martha Baker, the head of the union that represents more than 5,000 Jackson Health employees, told CNN. “The scary thing is we haven’t affected the curve yet. We are still going up instead of dampening or hopefully going down.”

More than 520 patients are in the ICU, the most all-time during the pandemic.

“We are opening up ICUs and converting holding areas in ICUs,” Baker said.

Cases are continuing to go up but the rate may be leveling off or slightly decreasing, according to local leaders.

The state has Miami-Dade showing a 19% positivity rate. That’s down from 22% on Monday. Still, the number remains well above the 10% goal.

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said the virus is spreading rapidly at home.

“Some have ever argued that you should maintain social distancing and the masks indoors at home. I would say if you have a vulnerable person, that you should consider it,” he said.

The mayor announced city-run summer camps will close this week.

Close to 40 officers are now assigned specifically to enforcing facial coverings.

Surarez adds a possible shutdown is not off the table because of high numbers at hospitals.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said that’s an option as well.

But County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that’s not on his radar.

“Even though some other people say, ‘Yeah, I plan to shut the whole city down,’ well, I’m not,” said Gimenez.

During a commission meeting Tuesday, Gimenez also defended the ending of indoor dining, for now.

“The entire spaces of restaurants wasn’t because a few people were not doing what they were supposed to, it’s because the act itself is unsafe,” said Gimenez.

While leaders work to tamp down the virus countywide, doctors and nurses will keep making space for more sick people and hopefully not run out of space.

“Each day is another challenge as we break yesterday’s record and continue to go up,” said Baker.

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