Jul 12, 2020 - Health

Miami-Dade mayor: "It won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez said on CNN's "State of the Union" that six hospitals in his county have already reached capacity, and that "it won't be long" until other systems are overwhelmed as the number of coronavirus cases continues to surge in Florida.

Why it matters: Giménez's concern over hospital capacity comes as the state reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — shattering the previous record for highest single-day increased that any state has reported during the pandemic.

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has previously said the state will not reinstate lockdown restrictions, even as other states with spikes have opted to do so.
  • As infections have soared, the death rate in hotspots like Florida has began to tick up. It's very likely that deaths will continue to rise along with hospitalizations.

What Giménez is saying: "Look, we have reached capacity in some, but we also have reserve space in our system. We have another 1,200 beds that we can crank up pretty fast for critical care beds. We have another 500 ICU beds that we can crank up."

  • "It's our ICU capacity that's causing us concern," he added.
  • "Our ventilator space, our ventilator usage has gone up also close to 200 now. We've definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital, number of people in ICU and the number of people on our ventilators."

Worth noting: Giménez, a Republican, said he is not sure whether that's good idea to hold the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month, noting that it would be impossible to do so in Miami-Dade County, where officials have been forced to close large public spaces.

  • Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, has over 12,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins University.
  • The convention was moved there from Charlotte, N.C. after Gov. Roy Cooper told the RNC they wouln't be able to hold a full-scale convention because of the pandemic.
Go deeper